Managing Asian Citrus Psyllid with RNA Interference

Ashley RobinsonHLB Management, Research

invasive

Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are using RNA interference (RNAi) to alter field populations of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). Nabil Killiny, UF/IFAS associate professor, shared the latest findings from his team’s RNAi research in a recent All In For Citrus podcast episode. He says the team is using RNAi to attack … Read More

Update on Oak Mulch Research to Fight HLB

Ashley RobinsonHLB Management, Research

Researchers have been looking for ways to help Florida citrus growers fight HLB, and spreading oak mulch around the drip line of citrus trees appears promising. Lukas Hallman, a graduate student at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) is doing research to find what is in oak trees … Read More

CRDF Selects Research Topics

Ernie NeffCRDF, Research

Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) directors on March 23 voted to request research proposals from scientists in nine topic areas for the coming year. The nine areas, mostly focusing on HLB, are: Understanding the mechanisms for increasing fruit retention in HLB trees by manipulating hormonal balance in the fruit and the tree or by altering the relationship between vegetative … Read More

OJ Could Address Fruit Shortfall in Adult Diets

Ernie NeffOrange Juice, Research

While whole fruit consumption increased in adults between 2003 and 2016, the intake of several key nutrients decreased over time, a new study shows. Adding 100% orange juice (OJ) to the diet could help address this shortfall and bolster intake of other key nutrients found in OJ. A cross sectional analysis using the nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination … Read More

OJ: 5 Contributions to Good Health

Ernie NeffOrange Juice, Research

At the March Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) meeting, Gail Rampersaud summarized recently published studies showing that orange juice (OJ) contributes to good health. Rampersaud, a registered dietitian nutritionist, told the FCC, which governs the Florida Department of Citrus, about five ways the studies showed OJ is beneficial: Body Weight: Research shows that 100% OJ or fruit juice consumption is not … Read More

Growing Containerized Satsumas Under Screen

Ernie NeffCUPS, Research

Trials of containerized satsuma trees grown in a screened facility will soon begin in Louisiana, reported Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter horticulture Extension agent Anna Timmerman. She discussed the trials during the recent virtual 2021 LSU AgCenter Citrus Symposium. Research objectives include determining optimal planting density and yield. Field days for growers will likely be conducted in 2022, and a … Read More

Field Trials for Cultivar Evaluation; Soil and Root Health

Ashley RobinsonAll In For Citrus Podcast, Research

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus researchers are collaborating on ground-breaking research projects to fight against HLB. They are working with researchers at the University of California-Riverside (UC-Riverside), Texas A&M and Washington State University on a project to field-test new citrus cultivars for tolerance or resistance to HLB. The research is funded by the U.S. … Read More

Could Finger Limes Be Florida’s Hero?

Ashley RobinsonAll In For Citrus Podcast, Limes, Research

The Australian finger lime, a citrus relative, could be a new specialty crop for Florida citrus growers. Traditionally, finger limes have remained rare in the United States, grown few and far between. However, the fruit’s unique tolerance to HLB is becoming increasingly attractive to Florida growers. Manjul Dutt, research assistant scientist at the  University of Florida Institute of Food and … Read More

Florida Growers Wanted for Rootstock Trials

Ernie NeffResearch, Rootstocks

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) is establishing a new project to evaluate the most promising citrus rootstocks in grower field trials. The rootstock trials are projected to be planted in the spring or summer of 2022. The goal will be to identify plant material with the traits needed for growers to realize the highest possible pound solids per … Read More

New Solution for Fruit Drop?

Ashley RobinsonFruit Drop, Research

Fruit left on the ground is a waste for growers and consumers alike, and Florida’s citrus industry certainly cannot afford to leave any fruit behind. Citrus fruit drop before harvest has been particularly challenging during the 2020-21 Florida growing season. That is why Fernando Alferez, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus horticulturist, is researching strategies … Read More

Fermented Food Waste for Fertilizing Citrus

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Nutrition, Research

Fermented food waste converted to liquid fertilizer and fed through drip irrigation can boost bacteria that increase crop growth, according to a new University of California Riverside (UCR) study. The treatment may also make plants more resistant to pathogens. “Beneficial microbes increased dramatically when we added fermented food waste to plant growing systems,” said UCR microbiologist Deborah Pagliaccia, who led … Read More

Ag Workers Among Those Most at Risk to COVID-19 Death

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, COVID-19, Research

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that food-service, agricultural and construction workers were among the most at-risk for dying from exposure to COVID-19. The study points out high-density workplaces in any industry are possibly high risk. The close proximity of employees in high-density workplaces creates a high risk for transmission of coronavirus disease. The … Read More

UF/IFAS VP Scott Angle on HLB Efforts

Tacy CalliesHLB Management, Research

Florida’s citrus growers are counting on research to help sustain what’s left of an industry decimated by huanglongbing (HLB). The disease remains a focal point of research at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Scott Angle, vice president for agriculture and natural resources at UF/IFAS, understands the ramifications if improved HLB management options aren’t available … Read More

Soilless Substrate Project Update

Ernie NeffResearch

By Jeb Fields (Editor’s Note: A previous Citrus Industry article described a Soilless Substrate Science project led by Jeb Fields, assistant professor and Extension specialist at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. The article noted that citrus growers are beginning to explore the potential of soilless culture. This is an update to that article.) Initially we had envisioned a physical … Read More

Research Projects on OJ Recommended for Approval

Tacy CalliesOrange Juice, Research

orange juice

The Scientific Research Advisory Committee met Jan. 21 to review recent updates from the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) and to review and recommend to the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) for approval two new research proposals. The FCC serves as the FDOC’s governing board. Rosa Walsh, director of the FDOC Scientific Research Department, gave an update on the 2020–2025 Dietary … Read More

New Louisiana Citrus Research Facility

Ernie NeffResearch

The Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation has constructed a citrus research facility at the Docville Farm in partnership with the Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter. The new facility, called the Center for Louisiana Citrus Innovation and Research, is in Violet, Louisiana. “This facility will be utilized to support Louisiana citrus growers as well as promote citrus and other specialty … Read More

Organic Acid, HLB Link Found

Ernie NeffResearch

One obvious symptom of HLB is leaf chlorosis — yellow blotches appearing on otherwise dark green citrus leaves. Although chlorosis can indicate other health issues, in trees affected by HLB, it’s thought to be triggered by the underlying bacterial infection causing the disease. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) plant pathologist Nabil Killiny conducted a study … Read More

Root Bacteria Could Help Defeat HLB

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Industry News Release, Research

A team led by the University of California, Riverside (UCR) is looking at tiny underground microorganisms for a way to prevent a huge problem — huanglongbing (HLB), a disease with no cure that has decimated citrus orchards worldwide. “Often times, it is thought of as an above-ground disease of the fruits, leaves and stems,” said Caroline Roper, plant pathology professor … Read More

Peptide, CRAFT Research Funded

Ernie NeffResearch

nutrition

A company that recently obtained a patent for a natural peptide solution to treat HLB has received Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) funding to see if the product has efficacy for other citrus diseases. CRDF will fund the company, Elemental Enzymes, for about $61,200, said CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler. Elemental Enzymes proposes to do research “to see … Read More

Parson Brown Research Funded

Ernie NeffResearch

Researchers looking into the possibility that the old Parson Brown orange might fare better than Hamlins in the face of HLB will be funded by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF). CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler said the organization agreed to fund the project for $53,000 during its December meeting. The funding had been under consideration for several … Read More