Citrus Nutrition Box Program Yielding Results

Daniel CooperHLB Management, Industry News Release, Nutrition


(UF/IFAS) — A recent program encouraging Florida citrus growers to learn more about the nutrient management of their groves is yielding promising results. Nearly 200 growers and industry representatives attended four workshops in late 2019 to learn about the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Nutrition Box program. UF/IFAS faculty distributed 117 free boxes of … Read More

Trained Dogs Are the Most Efficient Way to Hunt Citrus Industry’s Biggest Threat

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Industry News Release


(USDA/ARS) — Dogs specially trained by Agriculture Research Service (ARS) scientists have proven to be the most efficient way to detect huanglongbing— also known as citrus greening — according to a paper just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Currently, the only solid hope of curtailing the spread of citrus greening is to eliminate trees with the … Read More

CRDF Acts on Bayer HLB Effort

Ernie NeffHLB Management


The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) on Jan. 28 did its part to continue a Bayer Crop Science effort to develop new technologies to combat HLB. “What we agreed to do was partner with the California Citrus Research Board (CRB), Pepsi and Coca-Cola and share equally in the costs (of continuing the HLB effort) for another six months,” said … Read More

HLB and Young Trees: A New Twist

Ernie NeffHLB Management


Southern Gardens Citrus is attempting to curtail HLB infection in young trees by focusing on spraying for HLB-spreading psyllids in mature trees. Mike Irey, the company’s director of research and business development, discussed the effort at the January Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce. “The goal of most of the strategies to protect young trees is to get them as … Read More

HLB: Learning From Brazil

Ernie NeffHLB Management


University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researcher Rhuanito (Johnny) Ferrarezi reports on a trip to Brazil to learn about HLB control methods. Ferrarezi, who works at the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center, made the trip with former multi-county citrus Extension agent Steve Futch. “Their disease incidence is way lower than in Florida,” Ferrarezi says. … Read More

HLB and Grove Budgeting

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Citrus Research and Education Center Director Michael Rogers says while much progress has been made in dealing with HLB, many growers now face economic woes because of high orange juice inventories. He discusses some decisions that growers facing those economic issues will have to make and offers some suggestions. “We’ve come a long way since HLB came to Florida,” Rogers … Read More

Bayer-CRDF HLB Effort Updated

Ernie NeffCRDF, HLB Management


The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) in 2017 agreed to partner with Bayer Crop Science for three years in an effort to develop new technologies to combat HLB. On Dec. 3, a Bayer representative provided a progress update to the CRDF board of directors. CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler discusses the history and possible future of the endeavor. … Read More

Florida’s Citrus Industry: A Balanced Perspective

Ernie NeffHLB Management


The Washington Post recently published a “well-balanced article” about Florida’s citrus industry, telling its woes as well as progress against HLB, says Michael Rogers. “We hosted a reporter from the Washington Post back in July of this year,” says Rogers, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center. “I think … Read More

California and Florida Collaborate on HLB Research

Len WilcoxHLB Management, Research


University of California, Riverside (UCR) professor Georgios Vidalakis recently provided an update on the state of California citrus for researchers in Florida. Vidalakis is a noted professor and Extension specialist in UCR’s Microbiology and Plant Pathology Department. Among other honors, he was recently named Presidential Researcher for Sustainable Citrus Clonal Protection. Vidalakis pointed out that California has benefited greatly from … Read More

Cover Crops Bring HLB Recovery

Ernie NeffCover Crops, HLB Management

About eight years ago, Ed James had given up on a grove that was ravaged by HLB in the Howey-in-the-Hills area. “I had abandoned the grove,” he says. “I was going to fix the soil to plant alternative crops. And when I started fixing the soil with cover crops, the trees turned around and started producing again.” On Nov. 15, … Read More

IPCs for HLB Prevention in Young Trees

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

By Fernando Alferez, Susmita Gaire, Ute Albrecht, Ozgur Batuman, Jawwad Qureshi and Mongi Zekri Controlling the Asian citrus psyllid vector of huanglongbing (HLB) is critical, especially in young trees. Reducing HLB incidence is essential for tree survival and productivity under current endemic conditions. Individual protective covers (IPCs) are a novel strategy based on psyllid exclusion by means of a protective … Read More

Newly Planted Trees and HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Root health

citrus trees

Newly planted trees need to have root systems that are as established, robust and healthy as possible before contracting HLB, Evan Johnson told growers at Citrus Expo. That’s because HLB takes out a tree’s fibrous root system and causes dieback of the structural root system. Having strong root systems from the start will increase the productive life of trees, the … Read More

A Growth-Enhancing Pest Management Option

Tacy CalliesHLB Management, Research

By Christopher Vincent Particle films can both increase tree growth and reduce Asian citrus psyllid populations. University of Florida (UF) research has found particle films delay infection with the CLas bacterium, which causes HLB. They also enhance growth rates and yield. Particle films do have limitations to efficacy, including being washed off in frequent or heavy rains. Overall, particle films … Read More

Economics of CUPS and IPCs

Ernie NeffCUPS, Economics, HLB Management

At Citrus Expo, economist Ariel Singerman discussed the economics of producing citrus under protective screen (CUPS) and covering young trees with individual protective covers (IPCs). The primary purpose of both strategies is to exclude HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids. Singerman is with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Singerman calculated that a CUPS grower who insures … Read More

Does Reducing Psyllids Help When HLB Is Present Everywhere?

Tacy CalliesHLB Management, Psyllids

By Freddy Ibanez, Nabil Killiny, L. Gene Albrigo and Lukasz L. Stelinski With both Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) and huanglongbing (HLB) distributed throughout Florida groves, there is no longer a need to slow the spread of the disease. So, it is logical to ask whether reducing vector numbers is still something that is worth pursuing, given the investment needed in … Read More

Gibberellic Acid for HLB-Affected Trees

Ernie NeffHLB Management


Horticulturist Tripti Vashisth discussed the use of gibberellic acid (GA) in HLB-affected trees at a recent, well-attended OJ Break in Bartow hosted by multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt. Vashisth is an assistant professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center. Vashisth told growers that HLB-affected trees are under continuous stress … Read More

IPCs Effective Against Psyllids and HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Pests, Psyllids


Long-time multi-county citrus Extension agent Mongi Zekri, who serves Southwest Florida counties, says individual protective covers (IPCs) work well in the fight against citrus greening, also known as HLB. “They have been very effective in controlling or managing citrus greening, because they don’t allow the citrus psyllid, which is the vector of the disease, to get to the tree,” Zekri … Read More

Researchers to Look Deeper Into HLB Management

Tacy CalliesHLB Management, Research

citrus greening

By Karla Arboleda University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers are getting ready to conduct several trials on tools used to protect young citrus trees from HLB. The team of five researchers will receive $665,471 in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for experiments at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred. Lauren … Read More

Dundee Growers Have Hope Despite HLB

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

By Ernie Neff Like all Florida citrus packers, “our citrus volume is down substantially because of HLB,” says Dundee Citrus Growers Association (CGA) Chairman and President Lindsay Raley. But unlike many packinghouses that have closed since HLB was discovered in Florida, Dundee CGA’s packinghouse is still thriving. Diversifying beyond citrus and helping its members cope with HLB have been keys … Read More

Oxytetracycline Sprays vs. Trunk Injections

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Industry News Release, Research

florida citrus

Since 2016, federal authorities have allowed Florida citrus growers to spray oxytetracycline solutions on their trees to combat citrus greening disease. A newly published University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) study suggests that the bactericide would be more effective if it were injected into citrus tree trunks, a practice not currently approved under U.S. law. Citrus … Read More