Hairy Approach May Get to the Root of HLB

Josh McGill HLB Management, Research, Texas

Developing disease-resistant, high-quality improved crop varieties may seem like a “hairy” task, but Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists may have gotten to the root of the issue. A new biological technology that develops and multiplies disease-resistant citrus plants is under development by an AgriLife Research team led by Kranthi Mandadi. Mandadi is an associate professor at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research …

Drinking Orange Juice Lowers Dementia Risk

Josh McGill Orange Juice, Research

A recent study finds that moderate consumption of up to one cup per day of natural juices, such as 100% orange juice (OJ), lowers the risk of dementia. Inversely, consuming up to two cups per day of artificially sweetened beverages, and more than two cups per day of sugar-sweetened beverages, increases the risk of dementia. The study was published by …

How to Access CRAFT Grower Data

Josh McGill CRAFT, HLB Management, Research

The Citrus Research and Field Trial Foundation, Inc. (CRAFT) has a website with a public dashboard that houses the data that participating growers have submitted. A recent University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension newsletter included an article describing how to access the data from the CRAFT grower field trials. The article, summarized here, was written …

CRDF Board Focused on HLB Treatments

Josh McGill CRDF, HLB Management, Research

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) board of directors meeting in July focused largely on the use of oxytetracycline (OTC) as an HLB treatment in citrus. The board considered projects testing it in combination with other antimicrobial compounds or as a standalone treatment. Trunk injection of OTC has given the Florida citrus industry hope that it might be a …

Biggest Need for Georgia Citrus Is Research

Josh McGill Georgia, Research

The Georgia Citrus Commission members have been selected to serve the state’s up-and-coming industry. Now it is time for those five individuals to determine the pathway for the industry to be successful for the foreseeable future. Commission member Lindy Savelle believes research is the key component in advancing the state’s citrus industry. She said that is why the Georgia Citrus …

Land Grant Research Prioritization Act Introduced

Josh McGill Legislative, Research

U.S. senators from Florida and Georgia have introduced legislation authorizing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to make priority research grants available for land-grant universities. The grants would fund research and development of agricultural applications of artificial intelligence (AI), advanced mechanized harvester technologies, invasive species control and aquaculture. The senators who introduced the Land Grant Research Prioritization Act are Marco …

Grower-Friendly HLB Research Summaries

Josh McGill HLB Management, Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA) provides research directed at overcoming the devastating HLB disease and protecting the nation’s citrus industry. Since 2014, NIFA has funded approximately $200 million for HLB research projects.  Many HLB-related NIFA project one-page summaries are now easily accessible and written in a grower-friendly language and format on the …

Capitalize on Cooperative Research

Josh McGill Research, Tip of the Week

By Larry Duncan The growers advising the Citrus Research and Development Foundation understand very well the importance of cooperative research projects between growers and scientists. Several years ago, they earmarked a portion of research funding, not for carefully managed laboratory experiments or small plot trials at state, federal or private research centers, but rather for grower-run trials testing potential HLB …

Fundecitrus Participates in Argentine Citriculture Congress

Josh McGill International, Research

Specialists from Brazil’s Fundecitrus recently participated in the Argentine Citriculture Congress in Concordia, Argentina. They were among more than 400 at the event. Participants included producers, researchers and students. Fundecitrus researcher Renato Bassanezi gave the opening lecture on epidemiology and management of greening in Brazil. He also participated in a round table discussion on the current status of advances in …

Grapefruit Rootstock/Scion Research Update

Josh McGill Grapefruit, Indian River, Research

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers Mark Ritenour and Flavia Zambon recently provided an update on a large field trial. The project is called Evaluation of Potential HLB Tolerant Grapefruit Rootstock/Scion Combinations in the Indian River District of Florida. A summary of their update follows:  The project started as a collaborative effort between the UF/IFAS …

Greasy-Green Research Update

Josh McGill Diseases, Research

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers Megan Dewdney, Mark Ritenour, Liliana Cano, Eva Mulandesa and Monty Myers recently provided an update of their greasy-green disorder research. Excerpts follow from the Indian River Citrus League’s River Ramblings publication: “Greasy green” is a term applied to fruit that develop what appears to be greasy spot rind blotch symptoms …

Economists Study Cover Crops in Citrus

Josh McGill Cover Crops, Research

Economists with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) recently published two studies about the adoption of cover crops in citrus. One looked at the economic feasibility of cover crop adoption for citrus growers. The other looked at the preferences and willingness of growers to incorporate cover crops into their production practices. The studies were conducted …

Identifying HLB Therapeutics With CTV-Based Vectors

Josh McGill HLB Management, Research

By Choaa A. El Mohtar Projected citrus production in Florida for the 2022–23 season is less than 20 million boxes. This is more than a 90% decrease compared to the 2003–04 season, which was around 292 million boxes. The main reason for the decrease is huanglongbing (HLB) disease. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus …

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CRDF Research Priorities Include Trunk-Injection Therapy

Josh McGill CRDF, Research

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) held its June board of directors meeting in conjunction with Florida Citrus Mutual’s Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference in Bonita Springs. The June gathering is when the CRDF board passes its budget for the next year. The board funded a project by Zhanao Deng, professor of environmental horticulture with the University of Florida …

Millennium Block and MAC Project Updates

Josh McGill Research, Rootstocks, Varieties

Hurricanes Ian and Nicole in 2022 caused early fruit drop in the Indian River area, where two studies of 39,000 trees that might tolerate HLB are being conducted. Researchers now expect significant data from the studies will come after the 2023, 2024 and 2025 season harvests, but they have already gained some insights from the projects.  The first experimental grove, …

Indian River Center to Add Citrus Researcher

Josh McGill Indian River, Research

Brazil native Flavia Zambon will become assistant professor of production horticulture of citrus and other tree crops at the Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) in November. The IRREC, located in Fort Pierce, is a branch of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).  Zambon has had years of research experience in all of Florida’s …

Long-Term Research Proves CUPS Performance

Josh McGill CUPS, Research

Arnold Schumann, a professor of soil fertility and water quality with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), led the effort to study the effectiveness of citrus under protective screen (CUPS) in protecting trees from HLB. The work resulted in growers having confidence in the practice. Today, Florida CUPS plantings are closing in on 1,000 commercial …

Seminar Speakers Share Latest Citrus Research

Josh McGill Education, Events, Research

The citrus session at the Florida Grower Citrus Show started off with a special award acknowledgement by Ron Cave, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC). Cave recognized Pasco Avery for his induction into the 2022 class of the IPM Hall of Fame from the Southern IPM …

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Citrus Research Funding Update

Josh McGill Research

During the recent Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute, Michael Rogers, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center, provided details on recently funded citrus research projects. “The $16.3 million (from the U.S. Department of Agriculture) will go toward new research or continuing research to keep promising projects going,” Rogers said.  Eight …

Pelz-Stelinski to Lead Mid-Florida Center

Josh McGill Education, Florida, Research

Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski will become director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (MREC) in Apopka on Aug. 1. She is currently an entomology professor and associate center director of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred. Pelz-Stelinski will lead faculty, staff and students at the MREC. …