The February issue of Citrus Industry magazine takes a look at efforts to combat HLB. Some strategies are already available for growers to implement in their groves, while others offer hope for long-term solutions.
The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) recently launched a new Crop Transformation Center. The goal of the center is to use technology to accelerate the improvement of specialty crops. One of the first targets the center is taking aim at is HLB. Scientists are working to speed up the breeding and approval process to get HLB-resistant citrus varieties into the hands of growers. Citrus Industry Editor-in-Chief Frank Giles tells more about the center and its leader, Charlie Messina, in the February cover story.
Also on the topic of long-term HLB solutions, a Q&A article with UF/IFAS Professor Nian Wang provides an update on his work with CRISPR gene editing.
As the industry waits for HLB-resistant varieties to come to market, many Florida growers are using trunk injection of oxytetracycline (OTC) to treat sick trees. Find out from growers how trees were faring in the fall after their first injection. UF/IFAS researcher Ute Albrecht shares an early report on the status of trees in research trials after their second injection of OTC.
While treatments like OTC and plant growth regulators are being used on HLB-infected trees, proper nutrition practices remain essential to tree health. Get tips on fertilizer application in the February issue.
There are some indications that HLB treatments are working well enough for Florida growers to invest in replanting. Part 2 of the Florida Citrus State of the Industry Survey reveals that a majority of respondents are replanting trees. Find out what varieties and rootstocks they’re putting in the ground. See Part 1 of the survey results here.
These articles and more are coming soon in the February issue of Citrus Industry. Subscribe to the magazine.