grapefruit

Grapefruit Grown Under Protective Screens Maximizes Fruit Yield

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, CUPS, Grapefruit, Industry News Release, Research

Growers of one of Florida’s signature citrus crops may see more production and possibly less of the deadly citrus greening disease. Researchers have worked for four years growing grapefruit under protective screens on a 1-acre experimental plot at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), and they’re seeing encouraging results. UF/IFAS scientists and a few commercial …

Critical Leaf Nutrient Thresholds to Diagnose Deficiencies in HLB Trees

Tacy CalliesHLB Management, Nutrition

By Arnold Schumann, Laura Waldo, Tripti Vashisth, Alan Wright and Kelly Morgan Huanglongbing (HLB) disease severely impacts the nutrient status of citrus trees, particularly by stunting the feeder roots and causing measurable deficiencies of nutrients in the roots and canopies. Visible symptoms of nutrient deficiencies on citrus foliage are characteristic but not diagnostic of HLB disease. Recent HLB research efforts …

Cover Crops for Citrus

Tacy CalliesCover Crops

By Sarah Strauss, Davie Kadyampakeni, Ramdas Kanissery, Tara Wade, Lauren Diepenbrock and Juanita Popenoe Cover crops are specific crops not intended for sale but for soil improvement and sustainability. They are increasingly common in the agricultural fields of the Midwest and other grain-producing regions because of the wide range of benefits not just for the soil, but also the cash …

scott

Florida Senators Fight for Disaster Dollars

Abbey TaylorCitrus, hurricane, Legislative

Hurricane Irma devastated the Florida Citrus Belt in 2017. Federal disaster relief funding was approved in early 2018, but many Florida citrus growers have yet to receive those funds. Several industry leaders and groups have been advocating for growers in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. Now, Florida senators are joining the fight. Senator Ben Albritton, chairman of the Florida Senate Agriculture …

Psyllids

Control Weeds with Chemicals and Steam

Ernie Neffweeds

At the Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute on April 2, weed scientist Ramdas Kanissery explained how growers can control weeds with a combination of early management, herbicides and steam. His talk was one of several presentations University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers made to an audience of more than 200 citrus growers in Avon Park.   Kanissery, …

Citrus Grower Sees Success with Cover Crops

Tacy CalliesCover Crops

By Juanita Popenoe and Lauren Diepenbrock Ed James has citrus in his veins. He has been working and thriving in the citrus business since he was a teenager — from hoeing orange trees to owning a caretaking business that serviced thousands of acres. That is, until about eight years ago. In 2010, James looked around his personal 45-acre citrus grove …

production

Citrus Land Price Rises in Florida

Ernie NeffCitrus, Economics

The sales price of Florida citrus land rose in 2018, according to the Lay of the Land Market Report issued by Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate (CBCSRE) on March 29. The price per net-tree acre was approximately 5.8 percent higher than in 2017, and the gross acre price was approximately 9.2 percent higher than in 2017. “The large growers …

grapefruit

Grapefruit: A Breeder’s Thoughts

Ernie NeffBreeding, Grapefruit

Grapefruit’s struggle with survival and potential future were addressed by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) breeder and geneticist Fred Gmitter earlier this year. He told Florida Citrus Show attendees that the fruit has hit the bottom with HLB. “I was talking with one of the old-time families in the grapefruit business, one of the biggest …

Studying Citrus Roots in the HLB Era

Tacy CalliesRoot health

By Lorenzo Rossi, Ute Albrecht and Evan Johnson Citrus root systems are confronted with many challenges that limit resource availability needed for tree productivity. Challenges are compounded by huanglongbing (HLB), which now affects nearly all citrus trees throughout Florida’s production areas. Contrary to the above-ground portion of the tree, study of the below-ground portion is considerably more difficult. This article …

podcast

Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute Preview

Ernie NeffAll In For Citrus Podcast

In a recent interview, Michael Rogers provided an in-depth preview of presentations scheduled for the April 2 Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute in Avon Park. Rogers is director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. Rogers said multi-county citrus Extension agents have been putting the Institute program together …

FDOC

Drone Images Can Accurately Find, Count Citrus Trees

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Research, Technology

By using drone technology, Florida citrus growers can find out how many trees live in their groves and, eventually, they may detect the health status of the trees, a new University of Florida study shows. Imaging from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can accurately detect and count citrus trees and spaces where trees have had to be removed in groves, said …

New Extension Agent for Indian River Citrus Growers

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release, Research

A horticultural research scientist with experience in the development of disease-free citrus rootstock and disease-tolerant citrus varieties in Iran’s northern agricultural region will now serve the Indian River District’s growers. Amir Rezazadeh recently began his new position as multicounty fruit and field crops agent for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension in Saint Lucie …

mandarin

New Citrus Variety Option for Florida Growers

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Varieties

FAST TRACK is an innovative program developed through the cooperative efforts of Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc. (FFSP), the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), and New Varieties Development & Management Corp. (NVDMC). Through FAST TRACK, commercial citrus growers can obtain a license to plant promising experimental citrus selections for trial and evaluation. FAST TRACK engages …

Planting: ‘More Options Than Ever’

Ernie Neffplanting, Varieties

Michael Rogers recently said there is increased optimism in the Florida citrus industry. “With that optimism, growers are starting to give more consideration to replanting,” said Rogers, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. According to Rogers, some growers who held off on planting in the …

Albrigo: Bloom Looks Good

Ernie NeffProduction

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) researcher known for his work on the timing of bloom sees the potential for good bloom this season. “Flowering for Florida’s next citrus crop has been coming along fairly well,” UF/IFAS Emeritus Professor Gene Albrigo said in a Feb. 13 interview. He expects the first wave of spring flowers …

fresh

Important Food-Safety Requirements

Ernie NeffFood Safety

Mark Ritenour, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) post-harvest Extension specialist, provided updates about food-safety requirements at the recent Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce. His focus was on impacts fresh fruit growers and packers will feel from the Food Safety Modernization Act’s requirement that the Food and Drug Administration rewrite its Produce Safety Rule. Ritenour …

Covers Protect Young Trees from HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Individual protective covers (IPCs) on young trees have prevented HLB infection in one year of study, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researcher said. Fernando Alferez, citrus horticulturist at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC), announced his promising results at the recent Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce. “They (IPCs) are protecting the …

chemicals

Automated System Under Study to Deliver Bactericides

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, Industry News Release, Research

Imagine using a robotic arm to grip and puncture the trunk of a citrus tree to deliver chemicals into the vascular parts of the plant, reducing its susceptibility to the citrus greening disease. Ozgur Batuman, an assistant professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), leads a team of researchers trying to …

greening

Developing New Greening-Tolerant Citrus

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, Industry News Release, Research

When Nian Wang pieces together sequences of genes, he hopes to make citrus varieties that are more tolerant to the deadly disease known as citrus greening, which has devastated a multibillion-dollar-a-year industry in Florida. Wang, a professor of microbiology and cell science with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), will help an investigation in which …

HLB

Burns on HLB, Mechanical Harvesting

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Jackie Burns, who retired in January as dean for research at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), discusses HLB, mechanical harvesting and other citrus issues on which she worked. Burns was a long-time scientist at the Citrus Research and Education Center and later director of the center before becoming dean for research. Burns said going …