Citrus Nutrient Deficiencies? There’s an App for That

Jim Rogers Diseases, Nutrition, Pests, Technology

While sending citrus tissue samples to the lab for analysis remains important, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has developed a smartphone application (app) that can supplement lab analysis to identify leaf symptoms of key nutrient deficiencies and certain pests and diseases. Arnold Schumann, a professor of soil and water science with UF/IFAS, demonstrated how …

Drone Aids Brazil in HLB Battle

Jim Rogers Brazil, HLB Management, Technology

The use of a drone for chemical control of the psyllid that spreads HLB adds to Brazil’s efforts to battle the citrus disease, recent research indicates. The research was conducted by Fundecitrus in partnership with the startup Anáhata Serviços Agronômicos. Drones are ideal for complementing terrestrial applications and for emergency applications that need to be made quickly. For example, a …

Advancing Artificial Intelligence for Growers

Jim Rogers Florida, Research, Technology

University scientists, engineers, producers, government agencies and industry officials across the Southeast recently met to brainstorm ways to use artificial intelligence (AI) to help growers. They concluded that they could empower growers and equip farms to increase their economic and environmental sustainability and develop resilient solutions to address climate change by using AI. The three-day conference, Envisioning 2050 in the …

Smart Technology Cuts Spray Costs

Jim Rogers Pesticides, Technology

As they battle HLB, growers must control costs wherever possible, including by applying pesticides and fertilizer more efficiently. With that in mind, Yiannis Ampatzidis is engaging artificial intelligence (AI) to develop a low-cost, smart tree-crop sprayer that can automatically detect citrus trees, calculate their height and leaf density, and count fruit. That way, growers target their spray more efficiently, so …

An Improved Method of Nutrient Analysis

Tacy Callies Nutrition, Technology, Tip of the Week

By Yiannis Ampatzidis and Ute Albrecht Optimizing nutrition is important for tree health and productivity and can improve tolerance to stresses and diseases. Good nutrient management requires regular field monitoring to identify problems and examine crop responses. Leaves need to be collected and sent to a specialized laboratory for detailed information on macronutrients and micronutrients, which is time-consuming and costly. …

Australia Fruit Traceability Project for Exports

Ernie Neff Technology

Agriculture Victoria is funding an innovative $770,000 traceability pilot project for high-value exports that will be led by Citrus Australia, which represents commercial citrus growers. The funding is part of the Victorian government’s Food to Market program. The Citrus Australia project will utilize leading tracing technology, isotope testing, cool-chain tracking and orchard mapping to enhance traceability. Citrus Australia CEO Nathan …

Technologies for Improved Nutrient Analysis

Tacy Callies Nutrition, Technology

By Yiannis Ampatzidis and Ute Albrecht Nutrient management is important for citrus production. Regular nutrient assessments should be conducted to optimize nutrient balance and prevent deficiencies or over-fertilization. Optimizing nutrition is important for tree health and can improve tolerance to stresses and diseases. Good nutrient management requires regular field monitoring to identify problems and examine crop responses. Leaves need to …

Yield Predictions Improved by AI

Ernie Neff Technology

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers are using artificial intelligence (AI) to help citrus growers better forecast their seasonal yield. A preliminary study showed that the AI technology predicts yields with 98% accuracy. That’s way better than the 75% to 85% accuracy growers get when they count trees manually, said Yiannis Ampatzidis, UF/IFAS associate professor …

Technology for Early HLB Diagnosis

Ernie Neff Technology

Penn State and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have used cutting-edge CRISPR/Cas technology to develop a diagnostic test that could enable early diagnosis of huanglongbing (HLB). In a study newly published in the journal Phytopathology, the researchers demonstrated that the new test can detect the presence of the HLB causal agent — the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) — …

New Use for Orange Extract

Ernie Neff Orange Juice, Technology

An extract from orange juice production is offering an eco-friendly way for developing transparent wood, an innovative structural material for building construction. Since it was first introduced in 2016, transparent wood has been developed by researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. The wood lets natural light through and can store thermal energy.    The key to making …

Estimating Crop Yield With UAVs

Ashley Robinson Technology

A researcher at the Agricultural University of Athens (AUA) in Greece is using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to estimate crop yield. “Crop yield is the most important piece of information for crop management in precision agriculture. Early crop yield estimations allow farmers to optimize farm operation scheduling, field management and product marketing decisions,” said AUA associate professor Spyros Fountas. Fountas …

How Artificial Intelligence Can Enhance the Citrus Industry

Tacy Callies Technology

By Yiannis Ampatzidis Artificial intelligence (AI) is a promising area in computer science, automation, robotics and agriculture. AI describes the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior and mimic cognitive functions such as learning and problem-solving. Machine learning, which is an application of AI, is based on the idea that a machine, such as a computer or microcontroller, …

pests

University of Florida Focusing on AI

Ernie Neff Technology

Researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are working as teams to use artificial intelligence (AI) to attack complex issues. An example of such team work is Arnold Schumann, a professor at the Citrus Research and Education Center, working with weed scientist Nathan Boyd at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. They use …

App Now Available to Diagnose Citrus Leaf Problems

Tacy Callies Technology

Visual identification of nutrient deficiencies and leaf damage is an important diagnostic tool for fine-tuning management of citrus. Arnold Schumann, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) professor, shared how UF/IFAS researchers have used artificial intelligence (AI) to diagnose citrus nutritional deficiencies, diseases and pest damage. According to Schumann, disease and pest symptoms on leaves may cause …

Advice for Using Soil Moisture Sensors

Tacy Callies Irrigation, Technology

Proper irrigation management is key to optimize water use and increase crop yield. Water is a limiting factor in Florida citrus production during most of the year due to extremely sandy soils with low water-holding capacity and non-uniform distribution of rainfall. Soil moisture sensor systems may provide the most reliable data for effective citrus irrigation scheduling under these conditions. Rad …

High-Tech Scouting in Citrus Production

Tacy Callies Technology

By Yiannis Ampatzidis and Tara Wade Traditional sensing technologies in citrus production for pest and disease detection and field phenotyping rely on manual sampling, which is time consuming and labor intensive. Since availability of personnel trained for field scouting is a major problem, small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with various sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) can simplify the surveying …

Figure 2. A drone may be used to deliver spot treatments.

Citrus Growers Tell What Technology They Use

Ernie Neff Technology

Representatives of two Florida citrus-growing operations recently shared ways their companies have utilized drones, electronic sensors and advanced spray technology to enhance their operations. Joby Sherrod, director of grove operations for Duda & Sons, and Timothee Sallin, co-CEO of IMG Enterprises, were participants in a virtual Florida-Israel Agriculture Innovation Summit. Duda and IMG have approximately 11,000 acres and 10,000 acres …

Survey on Water and Technology Use

Ernie Neff Technology, Water

University of Florida (UF) researchers are conducting a survey to study smart agriculture technology acceptance and adoption behavior of Florida specialty crop growers, specifically growers of crops requiring regular irrigation. Adam Watson, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and doctoral candidate Raminder Kaur are requesting the information. The survey requests feedback on growers’ use of …

Artificial Intelligence System Wins UF Honors

Ernie Neff Awards, Technology

UF Innovate | Tech Licensing recently recognized an artificial intelligence (AI) system known as Agroview as a UF Invention of the Year. The AI system was invented by Yiannis Ampatzidis and his research team at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC). The system utilizes images from drones and satellites …