The Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo is fast approaching, scheduled for Aug. 16–17 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. The event is the subject of the July All In For Citrus podcast.
Michael Rogers, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center, previews the presentation he will be giving during the Expo. While there has been a lot of attention paid to near-term ways to fight HLB in groves, it is important not to lose sight of the longer-term solutions researchers are working on. In his Expo presentation, Rogers will address progress on moving a genetically modified (transgenic) citrus tree through the breeding, evaluation and regulatory processes. And he will give an update on CRISPR gene editing. Both approaches have created trees that hold up very well against HLB. He says it is important growers understand where UF/IFAS research is with both of these techniques.
Tripti Vashisth, UF/IFAS associate professor of horticultural sciences, joins the podcast to talk about the citrus educational seminars that will be held on both days of the Expo. Some of the key citrus scientists will be stepping out from behind the speaker’s podium to participate in a panel discussion so growers can engage with them in a more conversational way about the latest HLB therapies and how to apply them in groves.
Another panel will feature growers who are having success in mitigating the effects of HLB. Some of their groves look healthy and are producing great yields.
Jamie Burrow, UF/IFAS Extension program manager, gives a preview of the UF/IFAS trade show booth. She said the booth will have several interactive elements, including a demonstration on how to use the new Canopy Assist application that helps growers quantify tree health in their groves. There will also be a demo on how to pick the right individual protective cover for newly planted trees.
Burrow notes there will be plenty of “swag” (pencils, pens, notepads, etc.) for growers to pick up while visiting the booth. In addition, there will be lots of educational materials available for the taking.
Hear more about the Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo in the July episode of All In For Citrus. The podcast is joint partnership between UF/IFAS and AgNet Media.