Investing in Artificial Intelligence

Jim Rogers Breeding, Technology

By J. Scott Angle, jangle@ufl.edu, @IFAS_VP University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) breeders produce new citrus plants more quickly than they can figure out if consumers like how the new fruit varieties taste. In the race to create versus evaluate, creators lead evaluators by hundreds of individual plants at a time. It takes a post-doc a …

Artificial Intelligence to Assess Crop Damage

Jim Rogers hurricane, Technology

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers plan to use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to quantify damage to fruits and vegetables caused by extreme weather events. One such extreme weather event was Hurricane Ian, which struck Florida on Sept. 28, 2022. The storm’s damage to all crops, livestock and aquaculture products was initially estimated at up …

New Advancements in Herbicide Spraying

Jim Rogers Technology, weeds

By Ramdas Kanissery, Yiannis Ampatzidis, Mahesh Bashyal and Shea Teems Weed control is vital for profitable citrus production since weeds compete for nutrients and water, can harbor diseases and pests, and get in the way of equipment and workers. Without proper management, weeds lead to reduced crop yield and economic losses. Chemical weed control using herbicides is the most common …

Sneak Peek: November 2022 Citrus Industry

Jim Rogers hurricane, Sneak Peek, Technology

While irrigation and technology were meant to be the focus of the November issue of Citrus Industry, the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, combined with the low initial crop forecast that does not even account for the storm’s damage, proved to be the much bigger story. Editor-in-Chief Frank Giles provides early details on the hurricane’s damage to Florida’s citrus industry and …

Process Produces Safe, Fresh-Tasting Satsuma Juice

Jim Rogers Mandarins, Orange Juice, Technology

Fresh-tasting satsuma orange juice with a commercially feasible shelf life is the goal of University of Georgia (UGA) Food Product Innovation and Commercialization Center (FoodPIC) scientists and food technology company Food Physics. FoodPIC and Food Physics are working together to perfect a technique known as pulsed electric field technology (PEF). PEF uses short bursts of high voltage —15,000 volts per …

Using Technology to Support Citrus Management Decisions

Jim Rogers Technology

By Yiannis Ampatzidis and Sandra M. Guzmán Pests and diseases, nutrient deficiencies, tree stress from environmental conditions and other factors can be overwhelming. The arrival of sensors and small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) make it possible to gather large amounts of data to assess risk factors and estimate possible crop performance scenarios based on the availability of resources. At the …

Startups Aim to Aid Citrus Industry

Jim Rogers Florida, Technology

Two University of Florida (UF) startup companies have formed a union to help reverse the trend of declining Florida citrus production. Agriculture Intelligence and Satlantis believe they can offer a powerful tool to help the state’s growers more closely monitor their trees and manage problems faster. The startups, housed in one of UF’s business incubators, will combine expertise in precision …

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, …