Highlights From Citrus Packinghouse Day Presentations

Josh McGillEvents, Packing

Trunk injection for HLB, diplodia stem-end rot (diplodia SER) and citrus under protective screen (CUPS) were among topics addressed at the recent Citrus Packinghouse Day. The event took place at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC).

Citrus Packinghouse Day
Diplodia (Lasiodiplodia theobromae) causes fruit stem-end rot.

Trunk injection of oxytetracycline (OTC) increases tree health, fruit quality and fruit yield, UF/IFAS researcher Ute Albrecht said. Her topic was Injection of Oxytetracycline for HLB Management. Other take-home messages from Albrecht included:

  • Responses are variable and depend on tree age, time of injection and other factors.
  • OTC injections are no replacement for control of HLB-spreading psyllids.

In his presentation titled New Options for Decay Control of Fresh Citrus, UF/IFAS researcher Mark Ritenour of the Indian River Research and Education Center focused on diplodia SER. He reported the following summary of research testing 19 materials for diplodia SER from 2019 to 2023:

  • Topsin 4.5FL demonstrated the best diplodia SER control, but it is not registered.
  • Strobilurin-based fungicides (such as Abound and Headline) moderately reduced diplodia SER.
  • Miravis Prime (not yet registered for grapefruit) consistently showed significant and moderate diplodia SER control and appears to be a good candidate for grapefruit registration.

UF/IFAS CREC researcher Arnold Schumann concluded his presentation by declaring that CUPS is a profitable method for growing fresh market citrus. His research on CUPS began primarily as a technique for excluding Asian citrus psyllids from fresh citrus trees. Other summaries and conclusions that he presented included:

  • CUPS prevents HLB, canker and hurricane damage to citrus. Schumann said HLB incidence in CUPS at CREC is less than 1% after nine years.
  • CUPS fruit quality is similar to pre-HLB Florida fruit.
  • CUPS trees produce earlier yields than conventional groves.
  • CUPS save input resources and costs by growing trees faster.

See Schumann’s full CUPS presentation.

More 2023 Citrus Packinghouse Day presentations are available here

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Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large

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