Improving Productivity in Australia

Ernie NeffProduction, Research

A new research and development program launched by Hort Innovation aims to arm growers in Australia with the tools they need to produce more fruit, including citrus, and nuts per hectare. Hort Innovation is a grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for the nation’s horticulture industry. ABOUT THE PROGRAMThe 5-year $28 million National Tree Crop Intensification in Horticulture Program will … Read More

CRAFT Foundation: Two-Year Program Update

Ashley RobinsonResearch


The Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) Foundation Inc. is in its second year of operation. CRAFT Foundation Executive Director Kristen Carlson gave a program update during the recent Florida Citrus Show. CRAFT was designed to work as a cooperative effort between growers and researchers in order to provide examples of economically feasible production management practices and programs for Florida … Read More

Unlocking the Citrus Microbiome

Ernie NeffResearch

Yunzheng Zhang, Nian Wang and colleagues recently published an article, The Citrus Microbiome: From Structure and Function to Microbiome Engineering and Beyond, in the Phytobiomes Journal. It outlines the structure and potential functions of the plant microbiome​. It explains how this knowledge can lead to new engineering feats and a greater understanding of the plant microbiome. Insights into the microbiome … Read More

Testing Prototypes to Get HLB Therapeutics into Trees

Ashley RobinsonHLB Management, Research


Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are working on automated systems that deliver HLB therapeutics into the citrus tree’s phloem, where the materials are most effective. The project, “Development of an automated delivery system for therapeutic materials to treat HLB-infected citrus,” is in its third year. Ozgur Batuman, project director and UF/IFAS citrus … Read More

Researchers and Growers Partner in Science

Ernie NeffResearch

Researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) have conducted scientific studies in groves owned by grower cooperators around the state for many decades. UF/IFAS’ Michael Rogers refers to these researcher/grower relationships as “partnerships” and discusses their value. Rogers is director of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center at Lake Alfred. “These researcher/grower partnerships, … Read More

Advances in Therapeutics for HLB Control

Ashley RobinsonHLB Management, Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is examining different ways to deliver therapeutics to citrus trees for management of citrus greening disease, also know an huanglongbing (HLB). The hope of the USDA initiative is to establish an HLB-therapeutic molecule and identify the most cost-effective strategy to deliver these molecules to growers. The project is in collaboration with the University of … Read More

HLB, Lemons and Oranges

Ernie NeffResearch

A group of scientists working in California, New York and Washington has found that Lisbon lemon trees had less of a molecular response than Washington navel orange trees to the pathogen that causes HLB. That pathogen is Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas). In part, this might be because leaves of infected lemons tended to accumulate micronutrients, which led to less of … Read More

Principles and Risks of Trunk Injection for Delivery of Crop Protection Materials

Tacy CalliesPesticides, Research

By Ute Albrecht and Leigh Archer Trunk injection is a targeted delivery of materials into the stem or trunk of trees as an alternative to spraying or soil drenching. It is practical for disease and pest management in high-value forest trees and ornamental plants where aerial applications are problematic because of environmental and human health-related concerns. Interest in using the … Read More

Dual-Function Peptide Treats and Prevents HLB

Ashley RobinsonHLB Management, Research

New research affirms a unique stable antimicrobial peptide (SAMP) found in an Australian plant can destroy HLB and help prevent infection. Hailing Jin, University of California Riverisde geneticist who led the research, shared the exciting discovery during the 2021 Florida Citrus Show. The naturally occurring peptide is found in HLB-tolerant citrus relatives, such as the Australian finger lime. The peptide … Read More

Updating Guidelines for New Plantings

Ashley RobinsonAll In For Citrus Podcast, HLB Management, Research

Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are taking a whole-systems approach to update current recommendations for new plantings. A research project, “Establishing Healthy Citrus Plantings in the Face of Persistent HLB Pressure,” is led by UF/IFAS entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock. According to Diepenbrock, current guidelines were created pre-HLB and therefore are out of date … Read More

Research ‘of Use to Growers Right Now’

Ernie NeffResearch


“We’ve come a long way in the time that we’ve had HLB here in Florida,” says Michael Rogers. The director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center says early HLB research “covered a wide range of topics.” Now, however, “We’re really narrowing down things that are of use to growers … Read More

CRDF Research Proposals Include Peptides

Ernie NeffCRDF, Research

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) received 59 proposals for funding of projects in response to the organization’s recent request for proposals (RFP). “This is the best RFP we’ve ever done since I’ve been here,” said CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler.   The deadline for submitting proposals was April 26, a day before the CRDF’s board of directors … Read More

Antibiotic Delivery Methods: Trunk Injection vs. Foliar Application

Tacy CalliesResearch

By Nabil Killiny and Christopher Vincent The citrus industry has suffered numerous setbacks over the past 20 years because of the devastating effects of huanglongbing (HLB) disease. Many options for controlling the disease are being investigated to make groves as productive as possible under the current HLB pressure. Even small improvements in tree health or yield of diseased trees may … Read More

Enzymes: Longevity and Crop Yield

Ernie NeffResearch

citrus soil health

In plants grown for food or other purposes, longer lasting enzymes could translate into increased yields, according to Andrew Hanson, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences eminent scholar and professor. Hanson is the lead author of a recently published study in which researchers present a new benchmark for evaluating the durability of any enzyme. “Replacing enzymes is … Read More

Techniques for Improving CUPS-Grown Fruit

Ashley RobinsonCUPS, Research


For a citrus under protective screen (CUPS) production system to be profitable, the cost of the system must be offset by high yields of premium-quality fresh fruit with strong market prices. Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) have expanded their CUPS research trials to investigate management strategies that improve fruit quality and yield. … Read More

Managing Asian Citrus Psyllid with RNA Interference

Ashley RobinsonHLB Management, Research


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