Sneak Peek: December 2023 Citrus Industry

Daniel CooperAcreage, HLB Management, Sneak Peek

It’s no secret that Florida’s citrus industry has seen significant shrinkage since the advent of citrus greening in the state. In the December issue of Citrus Industry magazine, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) economist Ariel Singerman takes an in-depth look at the acreage attrition. He examines the figures by county over the past 20 years. …


Combination of Essential Oils and Kaolin to Control Psyllids

Daniel CooperHLB Management, Tip of the Week

By Xavier Martini and Romain Exilien  Despite intensive control efforts, the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), the vector of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, the bacteria causing citrus greening, remains the most devastating pest of citrus. The ACP typically relies on tactile, visual and odor cues to detect its host. By combining an irritant, a visual masking and a true repellent, University of Florida …


Brazilians Discuss How to Avoid Florida’s Fate With Greening

Daniel CooperBrazil, HLB Management

Brazil’s government, institutions and citrus growers need to join efforts to overcome greening “so that Brazil does not go through the same situation as Florida,” a São Paulo agriculture official declared Nov. 7. Orlando Melo de Castro, undersecretary of agriculture, made those remarks to about 500 people at an international citrus symposium in Araraquara, São Paulo. “To this end, we …


All In For Citrus Podcast, November 2023

Daniel CooperAll In For Citrus Podcast, HLB Management, International

Michael Rogers, the director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center, and some of his colleagues recently attended the Asian Citrus Congress in India. During the November All In For Citrus podcast, Rogers discusses what was learned and observed on the trip. While many of India’s citrus groves are small-scale …

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 Treatments ‘A Mixed Bag of Results’

Josh McGillHLB Management

A variety of treatments Florida citrus growers are using for HLB have so far produced mixed results, according to observations reported by Highlands County Citrus Growers Association (HCCGA) President Aaron Nelson. In a recent association newsletter, Nelson wrote that many are anxious to see harvest data showing what effects the treatments have had over the past year. The treatments he …

Trekking Toward HLB-Resistant Trees

Josh McGillBreeding, HLB Management, Research

By Michael Rogers Much has been discussed recently about the promise and potential of utilizing CRISPR technology to create HLB-resistant trees for Florida’s citrus growers. The primary objective in citrus gene editing is to develop new varieties that are resistant to HLB disease while remaining non-transgenic. To achieve this goal, researchers make alterations to or eliminate specific genes within the …

More Details on the Plant Transformation Center

Josh McGillBreeding, HLB Management

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) provided more information about a planned Plant Transformation Center. Foremost among goals for the center is finding citrus varieties that can tolerate or resist HLB disease. UF/IFAS will utilize $2 million from an initiative by UF President Ben Sasse to create the Plant Transformation Center. The center’s objectives include: …

Insights on India’s Citrus Industry

Josh McGillHLB Management, International

Fundecitrus researcher Franklin Behlau lectured about canker and HLB and participated in other ways at the recent Asian Citrus Congress in Nagpur, India. His lecture addressed the advancement of HLB (also known as greening) in the Brazilian citrus belt and the work carried out by Fundecitrus in combating HLB and canker. Behlau also moderated a technical session and participated in …

All In With Trunk Injection

Josh McGillHLB Management, planting

Some Florida citrus growers decided to start slowly with trunk injection of oxytetracycline (OTC), treating only a small portion of their acreage. Others took a wait-and-see approach, hoping to learn from their peers’ experiences. But Wheeler Farms went all in, treating 100% of their trees with trunk injection. “What we were doing was not working, so we needed to try …


Conclusions on Asian Citrus Psyllid Control

Josh McGillHLB Management, Pests

HLB, spread by the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), has been the scariest and most destructive disease that Florida citrus growers have ever faced. So, it was fitting that entomologist Jawwad Qureshi made a virtual presentation about ACP/HLB on Halloween, often considered the scariest day of the year. Qureshi, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences associate professor, …


Fine-Tuning Trunk Injection

Josh McGillHLB Management

Growers have concluded their first round of injecting their citrus trees with oxytetracycline (OTC) and now are anxiously awaiting the results. So far, trees seem to be responding with larger leaves and fruit, but fruit retention will tell the story if the treatment is moving the needle against HLB. For many years, there was a perception among growers that if …

$5 Million Awarded to UF/IFAS for HLB Research

Josh McGillHLB Management, Research

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has been awarded five federal grants totaling more than $5 million to control HLB. The grants are from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).   HLB is caused by the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas). The Asian citrus psyllid can transmit CLas into a …

São Paulo Governor Creates Greening Committee

Josh McGillBrazil, Citrus Greening, HLB Management

The governor of Brazil’s state of São Paulo, Tarcísio de Freitas, on Oct. 16 decreed the formation of a state committee for greening contingency after meeting with several members of the state’s citrus industry. Greening affects 38.06% of orange trees in the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais. The governor acted after considerations by the Sylvio Moreira Citriculture Center/Agronomic …

HLB Resources for California Growers

Josh McGillCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

Recently, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) declared an HLB quarantine in Ventura County following the first detections of the disease in the county. In response, the Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program (CPDPP) issued a list of HLB resources. The resources are intended to help inform the citrus industry about what changes to expect from the quarantine, …

How Much Yield Is Needed to Offset the Cost of Injecting Trees With Oxytetracycline?

Josh McGillEconomics, HLB Management

By Ariel Singerman Citrus growers in Florida are now allowed to inject their trees with oxytetracycline (OTC) to try to control Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus and/or suppress citrus greening. The use of OTC is expected to improve the trees’ health and, in turn, increase yield. In this article, cost estimates are used to address the question of what yield response is …

Universities Receive 11 Federal Grants for HLB Research

Josh McGillHLB Management, Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA) has invested more than $25 million in 11 projects as part of the Emergency Citrus Disease Research & Extension program. This program brings the nation’s top scientists together with citrus industry representatives to find scientifically sound solutions that combat and prevent citrus greening (HLB)​ at the farm level. Some of this …

Film Calls for Urgency Regarding Greening in Brazil

Josh McGillBrazil, HLB Management

Fundecitrus recently launched the institutional awareness-raising film Urgência as yet another part of the Greening Is Serious campaign. The campaign began in January last year. In the film, 10 representatives of the citrus sector talk about the economic, social, environmental and historical dimensions of citrus growing in São Paulo and Minas Gerais. They point out everything that is at risk …

Research Update on Oxytetracycline Injection for HLB Management

Josh McGillHLB Management, Research

By Ute Albrecht The German scientist Paul Ehrlich pioneered the research for “magic bullets” — chemicals that could kill a microorganism but did not harm the patient. He also coined the term “chemotherapy” and paved the way for developing synthetic drugs. The first synthetic antibiotic (the first sulfa-type antibiotic) to successfully treat human bacterial diseases without major side effects was …