Smart Technology Cuts Spray Costs

Josh McGill 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 …

weather

Cold Protection: The Tried and the New

Ernie Neff cold protection

Tried and proven cold protection techniques and changes to the Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) were discussed in a virtual Nov. 17 winter weather program. Chris Oswalt, citrus Extension agent for Hillsborough and Polk counties, summarized the decades-old cold protection techniques still practiced by Florida citrus growers. One of the first steps in cold protection is being prepared by staying …

Impact of High-Density Planting and Enhanced Nutrition on HLB-Affected Grapefruit

Tacy Callies Nutrition

By Rhuanito S. Ferrarezi, Waqar Shafqat, Hernan Soto, Mark Ritenour, Lorenzo Rossi,Davie Kadyampakeni, Evan Johnson and Kelly Morgan Florida citrus growers have been using high-density planting and different soil and foliar fertilizer application strategies to compensate for the adverse effects of huanglongbing (HLB). Recent studies indicate that high-density plantings and enhanced nutritional programs with higher micronutrient levels, such as the …

Irrigation and Nutrient Management BMPs

Ernie Neff BMPs, Irrigation, Nutrition

A Citrus Expo presentation about best management practices (BMPs) focused on what growers should be doing now in their irrigation and nutrient management programs. The presentation noted that current BMPs were developed prior to HLB’s discovery in Florida in 2005, and that studies are underway to revise the citrus BMPs for nitrogen and phosphorus. The presentation was created by University …

crop forecast

Help Trees Handle Heat

Tacy Callies All In For Citrus Podcast, Weather

Florida citrus production can be significantly impacted during the summertime heat. High temperatures with little to no rainfall can affect trees’ vegetative growth, fruit set and fruit quality, says Amir Rezazadeh, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) multi-county fruit and field crops agent. Heat is a factor that can cause citrus trees to become significantly dehydrated. …

Optimizing Irrigation and Young Tree Management

Tacy Callies Irrigation

By Davie Kadyampakeni and Sandra Guzmán Young citrus trees require optimal irrigation management for vigorous vegetative growth, leaf flushing and the establishment of a dense canopy. Poor practices such as infrequent irrigation or not using irrigation scheduling tools could be costly. Young tree growth also could be impacted by excessive water and nutrient losses. Crop water stress in young trees …

Updating Guidelines for New Plantings

Ashley Robinson All In For Citrus Podcast, HLB Management, Research

Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are taking a whole-systems approach to update current recommendations for new plantings. A research project, “Establishing Healthy Citrus Plantings in the Face of Persistent HLB Pressure,” is led by UF/IFAS entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock. According to Diepenbrock, current guidelines were created pre-HLB and therefore are out of date …

Sneak Peek: May 2021 Citrus Industry

Tacy Callies Sneak Peek

New citrus technology and tried-and-true techniques are among the article topics in the May issue of Citrus Industry magazine. Yiannis Ampatzidis, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) assistant professor, discusses several ways artificial intelligence is being used to improve citrus production and reduce negative environmental impacts. Among the topics he covers in his article are automated …

Updates on Irrigation and Nutrient Management

Ashley Robinson Irrigation, soil

Proper irrigation and nutrient management are necessary to maximize root density and tree health, especially in trees infected with HLB. Davie Kadyampakeni, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) assistant professor, shared a few irrigation and nutrient research updates during the March episode of the All In For Citrus podcast. IRRIGATION RECOMMENDATIONS Young citrus trees require optimal …

Soil Moisture Sensor Q&A

Tacy Callies Irrigation

By Sandra Guzman Understanding how to obtain and interpret data from soil moisture sensor (SMS) systems is crucial for efficient irrigation management. These systems help create an efficient and informed irrigation schedule based on soil moisture readings collected from the field. Below are answers to some common questions about managing SMS systems, including how to view SMS data on a …

Sneak Peek: April 2021 Citrus Industry

Tacy Callies Sneak Peek

Ask any Florida citrus grower what the top priority is, and you’ll likely get the same answer: Keeping HLB-affected trees productive and profitable. The April issue of Citrus Industry magazine provides research on production practices aimed to meet this goal. Adjusting the amount of sunlight plants receive has proven to increase citrus tree health and yield. University of Florida Institute …

Irrigation and Nutrition Management in the Era of HLB

Ashley Robinson Irrigation, Nutrition

A solid nutrition and irrigation program can enhance the productivity of HLB-affected trees and improve citrus tree health, potentially making production profitable even under HLB conditions. This was the subject of Davie Kadyampakeni’s talk during a March 9 OJ Break virtual meeting held for citrus growers. Kadyampakeni is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) assistant …

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 …

Irrigation Problem Prevention

Tacy Callies Irrigation, Tip of the Week

By Ajia Paolillo To keep your irrigation system running efficiently, it is important to perform routine maintenance throughout the year. There are many types of issues that can affect your irrigation system, causing it to run poorly. Poly tubing and emitters can become clogged. Emitters can be blocked by weeds or broken through normal wear and tear. When these issues …

crisp

Irrigation Scheduling to Optimize Tree Performance

Tacy Callies Irrigation, Tip of the Week

By Davie Kadyampakeni Proper irrigation scheduling applies an appropriate volume of water to a citrus grove at the appropriate time based on tree need, soil properties and weather conditions. Applying water in the right amount, right quantity and at the right time is very important for getting the best out of citrus trees. Several tools are available for determining when …

weather

Improved Weather Data at Growers’ Fingertips

Tacy Callies Weather

Weather is one of the most important factors affecting crop growth and production. The Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN), a University of Florida-operated service, was created to assist growers in making decisions related primarily to irrigation scheduling and cold protection. Currently, the FAWN network operates 42 stations located from Jay to Homestead that record and report every 15 minutes on …

agricultural engineer

Guzmán Honored for Irrigation Work

Ernie Neff Awards

Precision irrigation scientist Sandra Guzmán was recently named a 2020 Outstanding Young Extension Worker by the Florida Section of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Guzmán is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researcher with expertise in artificial intelligence for water management. She works at the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center …

Obtaining Optimal Peel Color of Fresh Florida Citrus

Tacy Callies Fresh

By Mark A. Ritenour and Fernando Alferez Color development in citrus during fruit maturation is a complex process that involves chemical and physiological changes. This includes chlorophyll (green pigments) breakdown and carotenoid (orange and yellow pigments) biosynthesis. The final color of each citrus variety mainly depends on the final composition of carotenoids, with citrus being among the richest fruit sources …