Top Priority: Updating Nutrient Recommendations

Jim Rogers Nutrition, Research

By J. Scott Angle, jangle@ufl.edu, @IFAS_VP The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is committed to updating nutrient management recommendations for citrus. For the next two months, that means seeking state funding for the research. The UF/IFAS team was crafting a specific proposal to the Legislature as of this writing. It’s at the very top of …

Multistate Scientists Seek HLB Tolerance

Jim Rogers HLB Management, Research

A $1.5 million emergency grant is enabling scientists in citrus-producing states to find trees tolerant to the devastating citrus disease HLB. The disease has crippled Florida’s citrus industry and has already been detected in California, which grows 80% of America’s fresh citrus. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture is supporting scientists at the University of California, Riverside (UCR); the University …

Resolved to Give Growers What They Need

Jim Rogers Florida, Research

By Michael Rogers January marks the season for resolutions: exercising more, eating well and being more organized. But in the research world, resolutions may not be that simple. I don’t think that University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers could be any more “resolved” in finding ways to fight citrus diseases and ways to improve how …

Gibberellic Acid Application on Hamlin Appears Promising

Jim Rogers Research

By Tripti Vashisth In a multi-year field trial, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers have seen beneficial effects of gibberellic acid (GA) on Valencia sweet oranges. Monthly application of GA (September to January) on Valencia improved yield on average by 30%, reduced fruit drop and elicited enhanced plant defense response. These benefits are possibly due …

hlb

How Fast is CLas? Scientists Now Know

Ernie Neff Diseases, Research

For the first time, scientists have been able to measure the speed of the Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) bacteria that causes HLB disease. CLas are injected into citrus trees by psyllids feeding on the trees’ sap. CLas relies on this sap to grow and spread throughout trees.    Using a new statistical modeling analysis and measurement approach, plant pathologists were …

Rancid Oranges Aid Detection of Diseases

Ernie Neff Research

A University of Sydney researcher is developing a cancer and serious disease-detecting biomedical probe that can be made from the juice of rancid oranges. Called a nanobiosensor — a tiny probe that uses fluorescence to signal cells’ pH in terms of their acidity or alkalinity — it detects whether cells are at risk, or in the early stages of cancer …

Shining the Light on Tree Health

Tacy Callies Research

At a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension citrus field day held earlier this month, plant pathologist Amit Levy talked with growers about ways to evaluate tree health. “A good evaluation should be correlated to the yield that the trees will produce,” explained Levy. “The evaluation should be concentrated on the tree health, and not on …

Groundcovers, Water Use and Yield

Ernie Neff Research

Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) scientists are evaluating whether fabric mulch groundcovers can reduce water use in groves without compromising yield. A recent video shot during lemon harvest in a Scott Citrus Management Grove describes the research. IRREC is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) facility in Fort Pierce. The researchers are evaluating …

Texas Researchers to Lead HLB Project

Ernie Neff HLB Management, Research

Scientists from Texas A&M AgriLife Research will lead a public-private collaboration across Texas, Florida, California and Indiana to advance new, environmentally friendly and commercially viable HLB control strategies. The $7 million, four-year AgriLife Research project is part of an $11 million suite of grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture. In addition to Texas …

Pummelo Interstocks Could Improve Performance of HLB Trees

Tacy Callies Research

By Manjul Dutt, Ethan Nielsen, Lamiaa Mahmoud, Maria Quirico and Jude Grosser All commercially cultivated citrus scion varieties are grafted onto rootstocks before being planted in the field. The rootstocks are selected based on specific desirable qualities (abiotic/biotic stress resistance) and the ability to produce a good crop in a specific location. The ideal rootstock confers disease resistance, hardiness, tolerance …

HLB Research Grants Go to UF/IFAS

Ernie Neff Research

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) was recently awarded more than $2.2 million in federal grants for HLB research. The funding came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program. UF/IFAS researchers are also serving in leadership roles in two other NIFA-funded …

Combining Multiple Methods to Manage HLB

Tacy Callies Grapefruit, HLB Management, Research

At the recent Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) field day and open house, Arnold Schumann showed visitors a Jackson grapefruit trial aimed at protecting trees from HLB. Schumann is a professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences CREC in Lake Alfred. The trial combines the use of individual protective covers (also known as IPCs …

HLB Research Funded for $11 Million

Ernie Neff Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced an investment of nearly $11 million for research to combat HLB. “NIFA’s Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension program brings the nation’s top scientists together with citrus industry representatives to find scientifically sound solutions to combat and prevent HLB at the farm-level,” said NIFA Director Carrie …

Citrus Is Part of DeLuca Preserve Research

Ernie Neff Research

Planting of new improved citrus scion/rootstock combinations to demonstrate sustainable and profitable citriculture is one of eight new research projects slated for the 27,000-acre DeLuca Preserve in Osceola County, Florida. The rootstocks and scions will come from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center citrus breeding program. The eight projects are …

OJ May Fight Inflammation, Oxidative Stress

Ernie Neff Orange Juice, Research

A new study suggests 100% orange juice (OJ) has the potential to help fight inflammation and oxidative stress in adults, paving the way for further research on the topic. Though limited in scope, the study indicates drinking 100% OJ significantly reduces interleukin 6, a well-established marker of inflammation, in both healthy and high-risk adults. Two additional inflammatory and oxidative stress …

greening

Seeking Microbes for Disease Control

Ernie Neff Research

The next key to winning the battle against citrus diseases such as citrus canker may be in the tiniest microbes that live inside the citrus tree.  University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers hope to discover how these microbes may benefit citrus trees in their natural fight against diseases. The end result may be an environmentally …

Trellis Systems May Aid Robotic Harvesting

Ernie Neff Research

Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) government is growing citrus on trellis systems in an effort to reduce vigor, increase flowering and fruit production, and potentially open the way to robotic harvesting. The trial being conducted by NSW’s Department of Primary Industries (DPI) at the Dareton research center is part of the National Tree Crop Intensification in Horticulture project.   The …

Update on Culturing of the Citrus Greening Bacterium

Tacy Callies HLB Management, Research

By Nabil Killiny, Anders Omsland, Haluk Beyenal and David R. Gang The suspected causative agent of citrus greening disease, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), is one of many plant pathogens that has not been isolated and grown in pure culture. One major reason for this is its small genome size; it is missing the genes for several metabolic pathways critical for …

Flavonoids May Reduce Cognitive Decline

Ernie Neff Research

A new study shows that people who eat a diet that includes at least half a serving per day of foods high in flavonoids — like oranges, strawberries, peppers and apples — may have a 20% lower risk of cognitive decline. The research is published in the July 28, 2021, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American …

Team Seeks Measures Against HLB

Ernie Neff HLB Management, Research

Codex DNA, Inc. has announced a collaboration with researchers from several organizations to identify scalable therapeutic measures against HLB. The multidisciplinary team has been awarded a grant worth nearly $15 million from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to develop cost-effective and sustainable solutions to the disease. Other collaborators include the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research …