Grove First

Grove First Project Seeks More Grower Cooperators

Daniel CooperHLB Management, Research

The Grove First project plans to expand next year and is seeking additional growers as cooperators. The project tests molecules directly in the field for their ability to treat HLB via trunk injection. The Grove First project differs from the common practice of starting HLB research in the laboratory, then moving to the greenhouse to be confirmed before going into …


In Georgia Owari Trial, Yields Peaked in 2021

Daniel CooperGeorgia, Research, Rootstocks

University of Georgia Extension agent Jake Price recently summarized yields for three recent seasons from Owari satsuma trees in a rootstock trial. Last year, 2023, was the last harvest year for data collection in the trial. Price reported that yield in the trial plot peaked in 2021 with a yield of about 20,300 pounds on 60 trees, which would be …


Evolving Research Priorities for Florida Citrus

Daniel CooperCRDF, Research

Last week, growers convened in Avon Park for the annual Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute. The daylong seminar program provides updates on the latest research in the fight against HLB and other production issues facing growers. Rick Dantzler, chief operating officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), presented an update on the organization’s research priorities. He noted that CRDF …


Florida OJ Has Solid Share of Consumers

Daniel CooperFlorida, Orange Juice, Research

A significant portion of consumers are drawn to Florida orange juice (OJ) despite recent economic setbacks, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) study shows.  “There is an intrinsic value that consumers have for Florida orange juice. When they think of Florida, orange juice is often part of the imagery,” said Marisa Zansler, director of economic …


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. …


Discovery Speeds Push for HLB-Tolerant Citrus

Daniel CooperBreeding, Orange Juice, Research

It’s one thing for a hybrid citrus tree to tolerate HLB, but quite another thing for it to produce orange-like fruit that makes delicious orange juice (OJ). That holy grail of traits could be nearer, thanks to a team of U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) scientists. …


Studying Citrus Greening in Switzerland

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Research

Lukas Hallman is about to embark on an internship in Switzerland to investigate the vascular system of trees affected by citrus greening. Hallman is in his final year of a Ph.D. program in horticultural sciences at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Indian River Research and Education Center. He is under the guidance of Lorenzo …


CRISPR Is Bringing Citrus Closer to HLB Resistance

Daniel CooperBreeding, HLB Management, Research

You’ve probably heard the term CRISPR in recent years. It is a relatively new breakthrough in science that has applications in human health and even in the fight against HLB. Nian Wang, a professor of microbiology and cell science with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), has been on the forefront of CRISPR research. Here …


Georgia Growers to Vote on Marketing Order to Fund Research

Daniel CooperGeorgia, Research

Georgia’s citrus industry started with the help of University of Georgia (UGA) Extension. Research assistance from UGA could help the industry flourish. Georgia citrus growers will have an opportunity to vote on a marketing order that will help fund potential research, explains Ken Corbett, chairman of the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Citrus Fruits and a producer at Corbett Brothers …


Pheromone-Based Psyllid Control Not Viable

Daniel CooperBrazil, Psyllids, Research

Studies with psyllid pheromones show that the insect’s behavior is altered when it is infected by the HLB-causing bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter (CLas). This makes it difficult to produce a commercial psyllid-control product based on the insect pheromone, Brazil’s Fundecitrus has concluded. “The sexual pheromone is an attractant produced by the female of the species, which promotes behavioral changes in male …


Study Analyzes the Economics of Cover Crops

Daniel CooperCover Crops, Economics, Research

In the face of HLB in Florida, a recent study delved into the economic viability of incorporating cover crops in citrus groves to enhance soil health and overall tree well-being. Shourish Chakravarty and Tara Wade wrote an article, Cost Analysis of Using Cover Crops in Citrus Production, about the study. Both authors are with the University of Florida Institute of …

Crop Transformation Center

Crop Transformation Center Takes Aim at HLB Resistance

Daniel CooperBreeding, HLB Management, Research

By Frank Giles The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has established itself as a leader in new technological frontiers like artificial intelligence (AI). In fact, the school has the 15th most powerful computer in the world. The HiPerGator, as the computer is called, will assist in AI development and on many other technological fronts. Another …

Updates on FDOC Research Projects

Tacy CalliesFlorida Citrus Commission, Florida Department of Citrus, Research

Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) members on Jan. 17 heard an update on one recent Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) scientific research project and learned about some future research plans. Rosa Walsh, FDOC director of scientific research, presented the information. PROGRAM FOR EXPEDITED PROPAGATIONWalsh reported that the 2022–23 Program for Expedited Propagation of HLB Tolerant and Resistant Trees was successful. She …


New Discovery About Asian Citrus Psyllids

Daniel CooperHLB Management, Psyllids, Research

A failed field test has led to a major discovery about Asian citrus psyllids (ACP). According to new research, the bacterium that causes HLB disease can interfere with ACP’s sense of smell, rendering some kinds of insect traps useless. The work is currently available as a preprint. HLB, also known as citrus greening, is caused by the Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) bacterium. …

Starting in the Grove to Find New HLB Therapies

Tacy CalliesHLB Management, Research

By Randall P. Niedz, Guilherme Locatelli, Nick Larson, Lorenzo Rossi, Ellen Cochrane and Michelle Heck Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) developed an idea to bypass lab assays and test molecules directly in the field for their ability to solve HLB. As part of a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grant (number 2020-70029-33176), …

Taking a ‘Long Shot’ at HLB-Tolerant Grapefruit

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Grapefruit, HLB Management, Research

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist and his team are hopeful that some so-called “long-shot” varieties will pay off in the effort to find HLB-tolerant grapefruit. Matthew Mattia of the USDA Agricultural Research Services (ARS) U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce, Florida, found the varieties at the A.H. Whitmore Foundation Farm in Groveland, Florida. The varieties are Florida …

Studying the Mechanisms for HLB Tolerance

Tacy CalliesAll In For Citrus Podcast, Research, Varieties

John Chater has been on the job now for two years, working with growers to evaluate variety performance in field trials. In the latest All In For Citrus podcast episode, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) assistant professor discusses his work, including grower collaboration to study new varieties in real-world environments. Chater also talks about …

California Researchers Seek HLB Tolerance

Tacy CalliesCalifornia Corner, HLB Management, Research

University of California, Riverside (UCR) has received three federal grants totaling more than $11 million for research focused on instilling HLB-tolerance in citrus trees. The grants are from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The funding was enabled by the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act, which authorized the Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Development …

New Research on Neonicotinoids for Psyllids

Tacy CalliesBrazil, Psyllids, Research

Continuing Brazilian research into the application of neonicotinoids via drench for control of HLB-spreading psyllids shows higher efficacy than earlier results indicated. In September, Fundecitrus released preliminary results on the application of neonicotinoids via drench. At that time, tests carried out on a property in Casa Branca, São Paulo, showed that the efficiency of the molecules for this type of …

Research Team Aims for HLB Resistance/Tolerance

Tacy CalliesHLB Management, Research

A team led by Clemson University is receiving a second multimillion-dollar federal grant to continue research into HLB. Feng Luo, the Marvin J. Pinson, Jr. ’46 Distinguished Professor in the School of Computing, is the principal investigator. The project is funded with $4.1 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA). Co-principal investigators …