Brassinosteroids Can Improve Juice Quality and Fruit Yield

Josh McGillTip of the Week

By Fernando Alferez and Divya Aryal There are some indications that brassinosteroids (Brs) may advance commercial internal maturity by almost one month in Valencia sweet orange, depending on the time of application. However, the best time of application in this variety and other sweet orange varieties like Hamlin still needs to be determined, so that this treatment can become economically …

Can Brassinosteroids Help Citrus Cope With Disease and Extreme Weather?

Josh McGillDiseases, Research, Weather

By Fernando Alferez and Muhammad A. Shahid Brassinosteroids (BRs) are a natural group of hormones that regulate physiological and biochemical attributes that include seed germination, flower development, root formation and resistance to various abiotic and biotic stresses. BRs have shown promise in reducing pests and diseases in a wide range of plants, including citrus. A commercial formulation of BRs has …

Combining IPCs and Brassinosteroids to Protect Young Citrus Trees

Josh McGillIPCs, Research

Research studies show that about 60% of Florida citrus trees are infected by HLB disease within six months of planting. By one year, 100% of citrus trees are infected. For that reason, the use of individual protective covers (IPCs) has become very popular to protect young citrus trees from the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). The covers have proven to be …

Update on Brassinosteroids for HLB Management

Tacy CalliesHLB Management, Research

By Fernando Alferez, Christopher Vincent and Tripti Vashisth Brassinosteroids (BR), a relatively newly discovered class of plant hormone, regulate several developmental and physiological processes in fruit crops such as grapes, pears and cherries and in some non-edible plants. BR also induce disease resistance against different pathogens in a great number of crop plants. A form of BR (epibrassinolide) was shown …

planting

CRAFT Program Promotes New Planting and Knowledge

Daniel CooperCRAFT, planting, Research

Since its founding in 2019, the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program has been responsible for the planting of just under 10,000 acres of new trees. This includes about 6,000 acres of solid-set groves and just shy of 4,000 acres of resets. CRAFT is a first-of-its-kind program and considered an innovation among funding agencies needed to support such efforts. …

Taking Available Tools to the Grove

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

The quest for long-term solutions to HLB is well underway. Technology like CRISPR is being developed to introduce tolerance or resistance to HLB. Conventional breeding also is seeking rootstocks and varieties that can resist the disease. In the meantime, growers are reminded to utilize available tools that help trees remain productive in an HLB environment. During the August Citrus & …

weed management

Brassinosteroid and Weed Management Research Updated

Daniel CooperHLB Management, weeds

Brassinosteroids for HLB-infected trees and the latest on year-round weed management were discussed at a Jan. 17 OJ Break at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt hosted the event. UF/IFAS assistant professors Fernando Alferez and Ramdas Kanissery made the presentations …

citrus trees

Prolong the Health of Young Citrus Trees

Daniel CooperHLB Management, Tip of the Week

By Fernando Alferez, Ute Albrecht, Ozgur Batuman, Jawwad Qureshi and Saoussen Ben Abdallah Individual protective covers (IPCs), which are psyllid-exclusion mesh bags, are increasingly being adopted to efficiently protect newly planted citrus trees from huanglongbing (HLB) infection. However, IPCs typically must be removed after two to three years due to tree growth. Early evidence indicates that brassinosteroids (Brs), a relatively …

HLB Tools for Today and Tomorrow

Josh McGillCitrus Expo, HLB Management

By Frank Giles and Tacy Callies The Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo hosted two citrus educational sessions during the Aug. 16–17 event held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. The sessions included both long-term research aimed at delivering trees resistant to HLB as well as what growers can do today to help mitigate the effects of the disease in …

CRAFT Reopens Existing Tree Therapies Program

Josh McGillCRAFT, planting

The Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) Foundation has reopened the application window for its Existing Tree Therapies Program. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Aug. 31. Participants will be selected through a random lottery, administered by a third-party entity. The program is designed to provide the industry with a better understanding of the best use patterns, combinations …

CRAFT Update Provided at Citrus Industry Conference

Josh McGillCRAFT, HLB Management

During the Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference earlier this month, Tamara Wood, executive director of the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) Foundation, gave an update on a new phase of the CRAFT program. Started in 2019, CRAFT was initially focused on new plantings. The program helps growers cover the cost of new plantings if they agree to an experimental …

Projects Selected for Existing Tree Therapies Program

Josh McGillCRAFT

The Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) Foundation received nearly 700 eligible applications — representing more than 42,000 acres — for its new Existing Tree Therapies Program. A random lottery drawing was recently conducted by a third party, and 159 projects have been selected for inclusion in the program. The remaining applications have been placed on a waitlist.  CRAFT staff …

testing

Citrus Research Funding Update

Josh McGillResearch

During the recent Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute, Michael Rogers, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center, provided details on recently funded citrus research projects. “The $16.3 million (from the U.S. Department of Agriculture) will go toward new research or continuing research to keep promising projects going,” Rogers said.  Eight …

Canopy Assist: A New Way to Measure Tree Health

Josh McGillAll In For Citrus Podcast, Technology

Tripti Vashisth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) associate professor, joined the March episode of the All In For Citrus podcast to discuss a new smartphone application growers will be able to use soon to measure tree health. Plant growth regulators like gibberellic acid, 2,4-D and brassinosteroids have demonstrated the ability to improve tree health and …

CRAFT Introduces Existing Tree Therapies Program

Josh McGillCRAFT

The Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) Foundation has announced a new Existing Tree Therapies Program for Florida citrus growers. The program is designed to provide the citrus industry with a better understanding of the best use patterns, combinations and timing of newly developed therapies. Therapies eligible for the program show promise in restoring health and improving juice quality and quantity, …

Sneak Peek: April 2023 Citrus Industry

Josh McGillEvents, Pests, Sneak Peek

It’s almost April, and that means it’s almost time for the Florida Grower Citrus Show! The soon-to-be-released April issue of Citrus Industry magazine features an event guide to the new and improved Florida Grower Citrus Show. Included is a complete seminar schedule and list of participating exhibitors and sponsors for the April 13 event. Now under AgNet Media management, the …

April

All In For Citrus Podcast, March 2023

Josh McGillAll In For Citrus Podcast

Growers have been deploying several new therapies aimed at improving the health of HLB-infected citrus in recent years. Plant growth regulators like gibberellic acid, 2,4-D and brassinosteroids have demonstrated the ability to improve tree health and help in fruit retention. More recently, direct delivery of oxytetracycline hydrochloride (OTC-HCl) via trunk injection has been approved for use in groves. There is …

Citrus Institute: One-Stop Learning Opportunity for Growers

Josh McGillEducation, Events, Tip of the Week

By Ruth Borger Keeping up with the latest news and research findings that impact how growers can successfully produce citrus in the HLB era can be an overwhelming task. Tracking down the right information at the right time for the changing conditions that face citrus growers takes time, effort and persistence. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences …

IPCs Changing the Florida Citrus Landscape

Josh McGillAll In For Citrus Podcast, IPCs

The use of individual protective covers (IPCs) to safeguard young citrus trees from HLB has become a common practice in Florida groves in recent years. Fernando Alferez, an assistant professor of citrus horticulture with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), has led the research effort to study IPCs and their effectiveness in preventing HLB. He …

Keeping Trees Healthy After Removing IPCs

Josh McGillIPCs, Research

Researchers and growers have found that individual protective covers (IPCs) can keep young trees free of HLB for two or more years while providing additional benefits like improved tree growth. The IPCs work by keeping HLB-infecting Asian citrus psyllids out of the tree canopies. But trees outgrow the covers and must eventually be removed. Researchers have found that about 60% …