Citrus Growers Tell What Technology They Use

Ernie NeffTechnology

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

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 … Read More

Survey on Water and Technology Use

Ernie NeffTechnology, 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 … Read More

Artificial Intelligence System Wins UF Honors

Ernie NeffAwards, 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 … Read More

Technology to Help Citrus Growers Cut Costs

Tacy CalliesTechnology

Traditional data collection for pest and disease detection relies on manual sampling, which can be time consuming and labor intensive. But now, Florida citrus growers could have artificial intelligence (AI) technology to simplify the process, better care for their crops and save money. Yiannis Ampatzidis, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) assistant professor, discussed several new … Read More

Consumer Acceptance of Genetic Technology

Tacy CalliesTechnology

Given that genetic engineering is a possible solution to citrus greening, understanding public perceptions of genetic technologies is important. Lisa House, director of the Florida Agricultural Market Research Center and a professor in the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida, made an online presentation during the recent Agricultural and Applied Economics Association annual meeting. She discussed … Read More

Technology Helps Growers Count Citrus Trees

Tacy CalliesTechnology

In his quest to find the right drone and other artificial intelligence to help ensure citrus growers get an accurate count of their crop, Yiannis Ampatzidis and his research team have developed a system known as Agroview. The technology saves farmers time and money and helps them accurately count their trees, which is important for insurance purposes. The latest results … Read More

Smartphone App Under Development for Diagnosing Citrus Leaf Symptoms

Tacy CalliesTechnology

By Arnold Schumann, Perseverança Mungofa, Laura Waldo and Chris Oswalt Since the first Apple iPhone was launched in 2007, there have been many improvements to smartphone cameras and their increasingly powerful graphics-processing capabilities. In recent years, these powerful hand-held computers have also made their impact on agriculture, where they are being used for communications, mapping, navigation, information retrieval and diagnostic … Read More

UF Researchers Study Drone Use in Citrus

Len WilcoxAll In For Citrus Podcast, Technology

In the latest All In For Citrus podcast, Yiannis Ampatzidis, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, discusses new studies in drone technology applications for agriculture. Citrus growers can currently use drones to find out how many trees live in their groves, and they soon may be able to detect … Read More

IMG Citrus Invests in Packinghouse

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Technology


IMG Citrus, a family-owned, vertically integrated citrus grower, packer and shipper in Vero Beach, Florida, has invested $1.5 million into its packinghouse processing line. The company added a state-of-the-art electronic fruit grader, the Global Scan 7, manufactured in France. The new sorter has the ability to precisely capture 120 images per fruit and up to 120 fruit per second in … Read More

Cloud-Based Software Helps Farmers on the Ground

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Technology


A University of Florida agricultural engineer has developed software that can help farmers find the best places to plant crops and to identify fruit and vegetable varieties that perform better against diseases. Now, Yiannis Ampatzidis is leading an effort to refine the software so it can help growers even more. To help farmers protect and even increase their harvests, Ampatzidis, … Read More

Technology: Consider the Costs

Ernie NeffTechnology

Tara Wade, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences economist, has some advice for growers considering new technology for the grove. “What we’d like growers to do is start to think about all the costs involved … do the math before they invest,” she says. “Growers have to constantly think about the trade-offs” of adopting new technology … Read More

Precision Agriculture Technologies in Citrus

Tacy CalliesPests, Psyllids, Research, Technology

By Yiannis Ampatzidis Citrus growers face issues from an increasing number of pests and diseases. Rapid and accurate tools for early pest and disease detection are needed to improve precision and timely management. Almost all agrochemicals (e.g., pesticides) applied in specialty crop production are made uniformly with conventional spraying equipment, despite the fact that pathogen distribution is typically patchy. Uniform … Read More

Technology: Look Before Leaping

Ernie NeffTechnology

New technology can get growers excited about its potential benefits, says John Schueller, a University of Florida engineer and professor. “But before we go out and do something really big, we need to look at various aspects (of the technology),” he says. He suggests five questions growers should consider before going all in. “One is, what are the effects of … Read More

Artificial Intelligence Could Help Citrus Growers Detect Psyllids

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Industry News Release, Psyllids, Research, Technology

Kaolin Clay

Precision agriculture engineer Yiannis Ampatzidis sees a day when citrus farmers use artificial intelligence (AI) to detect the pin-sized insects that can infect the fruit’s trees with the deadly greening disease. That day could come in the near future, because Ampatzidis and his research team are starting to perfect a system to detect the potentially deadly Asian citrus psyllid. Citrus … Read More

Taking Technology to the Grove

Tacy CalliesCUPS, Technology

By Ernie Neff Jerry Mixon’s use of netting to keep birds from blueberries helped pique his interest in growing citrus under protective screen (CUPS) to exclude HLB-spreading psyllids. But he credits University of Florida researcher Arnold Schumann with helping him bring his Polk County CUPS project to fruition. Mixon met Schumann in 2015, the year after Schumann’s 1-acre CUPS was … Read More

Laser Technology May Be Key to Rehabilitating HLB Trees

Daniel CooperCitrus, Citrus Greening, HLB Management, Research, Technology


A University of Florida (UF) scientist hopes to improve on laser technology to enhance the efficiency of spray solutions aimed at restoring vitality to greening-affected citrus trees and reducing amounts of chemicals applied. With the updated technology, a laser shoots infra-red energy pulses at citrus tree leaves, said Ed Etxeberria, a professor of horticultural sciences at the UF Institute of … Read More

Using Soil Moisture Sensors for Citrus Irrigation

Tacy CalliesIrrigation, Technology

By Arnold Schumann, Laura Waldo, Davie Kadyampakeni, Rhuanito Ferrarezi and Chris Oswalt Florida citrus trees may require irrigation throughout the year due to the extremely sandy soils with low water-holding capacities, and the warm subtropical climate with distinct drought periods in spring. A soil water sensor system can provide the most reliable data for effective citrus irrigation scheduling in these … Read More

Artificial Intelligence for Detecting Citrus Pests, Diseases and Disorders

Tacy CalliesTechnology

By Arnold Schumann, Laura Waldo, William Holmes, Gary Test and Tim Ebert Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly common in electronic devices at home or work, in social media, video streaming services, electronic commerce, and in internet search engines. Now, AI is rapidly entering the farming scene. Growers using modern precision agriculture tools and techniques often face a barrage of high … Read More

Robots May Soon Detect Grove Pests and Diseases

Ernie NeffDiseases, Pests, Technology


It may not be long before a grower sips coffee and works on the computer while a robot roams the grove checking for HLB-spreading psyllids and other pests and diseases. That’s thanks to machine vision software. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences scientist Arnold Schumann tells about research he has been conducting. Schumann says researchers have developed … Read More