Florida Research Order Referendum Slated for May

Jim Rogers Citrus, Regulation, Research

Florida citrus growers will be asked to vote in a May referendum whether to maintain the Florida Research Order. The order was established in 1992 to support efforts by the industry — through the creation of the Florida Citrus Production Research Advisory Council (FCPRAC) — to develop solutions to production challenges. The research order has a six-year cycle and is …

Update on Finger Limes in Florida

Jim Rogers Limes, Research, Varieties

The Australian finger lime has created a buzz among chefs and mixologists for its caviar-like texture and flavorful pulp. The fruit also has captured interest among growers for its seemingly high tolerance to HLB. On March 23, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) hosted a half-day online symposium on finger limes to provide growers with …

Put Predators to Work Against Lebbeck Mealybug

Jim Rogers Pests, Research, Tip of the Week

By Eric Middleton and Lauren Diepenbrock Lebbeck mealybug is an emerging pest in Florida citrus. Infestations can damage fruit, flowers and branches. The pest can even kill young trees in severe cases. Lebbeck mealybug is often difficult to manage with insecticides alone due to the pest’s tendency to feed in protected spaces and the thick wax that covers adult mealybugs …

Growers Needed to Aid Development of HLB Tool

Jim Rogers HLB Management, Research

Excelsior Aerospace Corporation announced it is pursuing funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to build a free tool that can rapidly detect, track and manage huanglongbing (HLB) disease. “On one end, our tool would serve growers in states such as Texas and California to detect early symptoms of ACP (Asian citrus psyllid) and HLB infection and take measures …

IPCs Improve Fruit Yield and Quality

Jim Rogers HLB Management, IPCs, Research

By Fernando Alferez, Ute Albrecht, Susmita Gaire, Ozgur Batuman, Jawwad Qureshi and Mongi Zekri University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers established a field trial in February 2018 to evaluate the efficacy of individual protective covers (IPCs) to prevent Asian citrus psyllids from spreading HLB and to study the effects on tree growth and physiology. The …

ACP and the HLB Pathogen Are Made for Each Other

Jim Rogers Citrus, HLB Management, Research

Nabil Killiny, an associate professor of plant pathology for the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, has been studying the relationship between the bacterium that causes HLB (Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus) and its vector the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). Globally, insect-borne vector pathogens are responsible for more than 700 plant diseases. HLB ranks high among those in terms …

Early HLB Detection by Dogs

Jim Rogers HLB Management, Research

By Amir Rezazadeh Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening disease, has caused more than 70% decline in the production of oranges for juice and the fresh market in Florida. Once a tree is infected, there is no cure. Early detection followed by a rapid response is important to avoid further spread of the exotic pathogen. Delayed detection of HLB can result in …

Fruit Size and Spraying Interval Are Key for Canker Control

Jim Rogers Diseases, Research

The size of fruit that should be sprayed, the spraying interval and ways to avoid copper phytotoxicity were among the citrus canker topics plant pathologist Megan Dewdney offered growers recently. Dewdney said fruit are most susceptible to canker when they are between 3/8 inch and 1.5 inches in diameter. The fruit rind becomes much more resistant when the fruit is …

Balancing Citrus Nutrition in the Era of HLB

Jim Rogers HLB Management, Nutrition, Research

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has committed to updating nutrition recommendations for citrus now that HLB is endemic across the state. Some of this ongoing research was discussed during the February All In For Citrus podcast. Growers will be interested to hear from Davie Kadyampakeni, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of soil and water science, …

Growers to Gather at Citrus Institute

Jim Rogers HLB Management, Research, Tip of the Week

By Chris Oswalt, Mongi Zekri, Ajia Paolillo and Lourdes Pérez Cordero Huanglongbing (HLB) continues to impact citrus-producing areas of Florida. The 2022 Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute is an opportunity for Florida citrus growers to come together to learn about effective management of HLB and other challenges affecting the industry. This year’s event will be held Tuesday, April 5 from 8:30 …

Attacking Asian Citrus Psyllid from the Inside

Jim Rogers HLB Management, Pests, Research

In the latest episode of the All In For Citrus podcast, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski discussed her research on the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and a new grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to further her work. The goal of the research is to use bacteria already present …

Black Core Rot Being Studied

Jim Rogers Diseases, International, Research

A new Hort Innovation project aims to shed some light on how black core rot happens in Australian groves so the citrus industry can learn how to better manage the disease. Black core rot caused by the fungus Alternaria spp. can be a problem for some citrus growers in the southern growing areas in Australia. Citrus infected with Alternaria spp. …

Flavor Summit Delves Deep Into the Science of Taste

Jim Rogers Citrus, Florida, Research

In late February, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) hosted its second annual Flavor Summit. The hybrid in-person/online event was held at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred. CREC and the UF Center for Smell and Taste hosted the event that took a deep dive into the science of how flavors …

A Citrus Servant

Jim Rogers Citrus, Research

By J. Scott Angle, jangle@ufl.edu, @IFAS_VP It’s not unusual for the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) to have a dozen contacts with Peter Chaires in a day, between the emails, calls and visits. Chaires serves as executive director of the New Varieties Development & Management Corp. (NVDMC), executive vice president of Florida Citrus Packers and …

New Research Shows How HLB Damages Trees

Jim Rogers HLB Management, Research

Recent research describes in detail how HLB causes damage to citrus trees and presents the case that HLB is a pathogen-triggered immune disease. A pathogen-triggered immune disease results from the activation of an organism’s immune cells fighting a pathogen. Nian Wang, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) professor, took part in the research. This is the …

Fire Ant Control Key in Young Citrus Groves

Jim Rogers Citrus, Pests, Research

Fire ant management is essential to the long-term sustainability of citrus groves. This is particularly true for young trees still trying to develop root systems, said Xavier Martini, assistant professor of entomology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC). Martini spoke on insect management at the recent UF/IFAS …

Be Prepared for Postbloom Fruit Drop

Jim Rogers Fruit Drop, Research

A La Niña weather pattern is most likely this spring, with higher-than-average temperatures and below-average rain predicted in Florida, researcher Megan Dewdney reported in a Feb. 24 presentation about postbloom fruit drop (PFD). That could have some influence on the severity of PFD, since its preferred climate is humid and subtropical, and the fungus moves with rain splash and wind-borne …

CRDF Receives Recommendations on Plant Breeding

Jim Rogers Breeding, Research

By Rick Dantzler Several months ago, the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) convened a panel of plant-breeding experts from across the country to help us decide where to spend what appears to be a diminishing amount of money for plant breeding. The co-chairs presented their recommendations on Feb. 22 to the CRDF board of directors. The first recommendation was …

Achieving Water and Nutrient Efficiency

Jim Rogers Irrigation, Nutrition, Research

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers emphasized the importance of efficient irrigation and nutrient management at a workshop earlier this month at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. In Florida, the citrus industry accounts for about 30% of irrigated cropland acreage, reported UF/IFAS researcher Alisheikh Atta. Worldwide, the agriculture industry consumes about …

Citrus and Salinity

Jim Rogers Citrus, Nutrition, Research

By Mongi Zekri Salts are a common component of soils that originate from mineral weathering, fertilizers, irrigation waters and soil amendments. The addition of most soluble fertilizer materials will increase soil salinity. However, it is only when salts are present in relatively high concentration that crops are damaged or adversely affected. Salinity is of increasing concern in Florida because of …