June

All In For Citrus Podcast, June 2024

Daniel CooperAll In For Citrus Podcast

June

The educational seminars at the June Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference covered a wide range of topics intended to give growers hope that progress is being made in the fight against HLB.

During the June 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, discussed presentations UF/IFAS scientists made at the conference.

“We had two of our faculty speak on topics of relative importance and things growers can incorporate in the grove now,” Rogers said.

Ute Albrecht, UF/IFAS associate professor of plant physiology, spoke about her latest research on trunk-injection therapy. She presented some new data collected over the past season.

“In general, what she presented was most of her trial sites are showing improvements in health metrics they are measuring in terms of canopy growth, overall appearance of the trees and some increases in fruit yields and maybe some Brix improvements in some locations,” Rogers said. “The results have not all been consistent, and she will tell you that not all trees are the same. There is a mixed bag of results out there. Every tree is a different individual, so they are going to respond (to treatments) differently. But over time, as the trees have received multiple treatments, we are hopeful those benefits will increase.”

Albrecht observed where growers do double-sided injections on the tree trunk, oxytetracycline (OTC) is distributed more evenly throughout the tree. Rogers said that might not be practical for growers in every grove and on every tree, but there is evidence it is beneficial.

Tripti Vashisth, UF/IFAS associate professor of horticultural sciences, presented her research on the use of plant growth regulators (PGRs). Rogers noted that PGR applications will be a key benefit when growers must take a break applying OTC next season per label requirements.

One new observation is that gibberellic acid applied via irrigation along with foliar applications provides better results than foliar applications or chemigation alone. 

“Where gibberellic acid was foliar applied and supplemented by chemigation was where she saw the biggest benefit in terms of fruit yield increases and tree health increases,” Rogers said. “That was new and interesting information.”

Get more details on this research and more in the June episode of All In For Citrus. The podcast is a partnership between UF/IFAS and AgNet Media.

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