Speeding Up the Screening Process for HLB Therapies

Josh McGill HLB Management

While it remains to be seen if trunk injection of oxytetracycline hydrochloride (OTC-HCl) is a game changer in the fight against HLB, it certainly has intensified the conversation about the potential for antimicrobial treatments. There are literally hundreds of materials that might be effective at reducing the HLB bacteria in trees, but it has been a slow process to screen …

Ag Commissioner Wilton Simpson Confirmed to Speak at Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo

Josh McGill Events

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson will speak during the Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo’s General Session on Aug. 16. Simpson, a farmer himself, brings a perspective grounded in the importance and realities of agriculture. “We are excited to have Commissioner Simpson join us for the Expo,” says Robin Loftin, president of AgNet Media. “The Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo …

California HLB Quarantine Areas Expanded

Josh McGill California Corner, HLB Management, Regulation

Federal and state officials in late June expanded the areas quarantined for huanglongbing (HLB, also known as citrus greening), caused by Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, in California. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) took the action in cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). APHIS added portions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside …

Nursery Owner Wins Judgment Over Destroyed Trees

Josh McGill Citrus, Citrus Greening, Legal

The owner of a commercial nursery has won a $1.2 million judgment against the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) for the destruction of citrus trees in the 2000s, AP News reported. A jury in Orlando determined the state agency had destroyed more than 160,000 citrus plants in an effort to stop citrus greening, AP reported. The jury …

Rotate Psyllid Products, Fundecitrus Urges

Josh McGill Brazil, HLB Management

Brazil’s Fundecitrus has launched the Insecticide Rotation Guide for Psyllid Control. Its aim is to help producers control the insect vector of citrus greening, highlighting the importance of proper rotation of products to avoid the selection of resistant psyllids. The resistance of insects and mites to pesticides can compromise the effectiveness of products and, consequently, the control of the pest …

Florida Orange Brix Levels Not So Sweet Yet

Josh McGill Orange Juice, Processing

Florida citrus growers and orange juice processors are reporting low Brix levels as the 2021–2022 harvest season continues. The Jan. 10 edition of the Market News Bulletin from Florida Citrus Mutual noted average Brix of 9.83. According to Bob Behr, chief executive officer of Florida’s Natural Growers, juice oranges being harvested now are running below average. “Citrus greening continues to …

Florida orange

Oxytetracycline Sprays vs. Trunk Injections

Daniel Cooper Citrus Greening, HLB Management, Industry News Release, Research

Since 2016, federal authorities have allowed Florida citrus growers to spray oxytetracycline solutions on their trees to combat citrus greening disease. A newly published University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) study suggests that the bactericide would be more effective if it were injected into citrus tree trunks, a practice not currently approved under U.S. law. Citrus …

citrus greening

Studying Citrus Greening with an Integrated Approach

Daniel Cooper Citrus Greening, Diseases, HLB Management, Industry News Release, Psyllids, Research

While citrus growers continue to look for best management approaches to deal with the deadly greening disease, scientists will take an integrated look at how to protect young trees by using existing tools growers can use. Five scientists from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) will compare insect management tools, including insect-proof netting. Researchers also …


Artificial Intelligence Could Help Citrus Growers Detect Psyllids

Daniel Cooper Citrus Greening, HLB Management, Industry News Release, Psyllids, Research, Technology

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 …


Grapefruit Grown Under Protective Screens Maximizes Fruit Yield

Daniel Cooper Citrus 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 …


Large-Scale Citrus Field Trials Idea Surfaces

Daniel Cooper Citrus, Citrus Greening, HLB Management, Research

Citrus research continues to be a topic in state and federal funding circles as the industry’s battle with HLB, or citrus greening, continues. One idea in the incubator of industry discussion is the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program. It would involve large-scale grower field trials throughout Florida. Rick Dantzler, chief operating officer of the Citrus Research and Development …

florida citrus

Citrus Funding Could Remain Steady as Results Sought

Daniel Cooper Citrus, Citrus Greening

Senate Appropriations Chairman Sen. Ron Bradley supports maintaining the current level of funding for the state’s citrus industry, as a decade of research about combating deadly citrus greening disease is applied more in groves. After hearing presentations Wednesday from citrus-industry leaders, Bradley, R-Fleming Island, said there “certainly” won’t be a drop from this year’s $23.2 million in funding. At the …


Automated System Under Study to Deliver Bactericides

Daniel Cooper Citrus 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 …


Developing New Greening-Tolerant Citrus

Daniel Cooper Citrus 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 …

CRAFT program

Young Citrus Trees May Benefit from Full Irrigation

Daniel Cooper Citrus, Citrus Greening, HLB Management, Industry News Release, Irrigation, Research

Mature citrus trees affected by the bacterial disease huanglongbing (HLB) typically need about 25 percent less irrigation than their healthy counterparts However, that doesn’t necessarily mean young trees with the disease will benefit from water deficits, according to a preliminary greenhouse study by researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Experiments on 1-year-old orange …


Citrus Tree Covers Keep Deadly Psyllids Away

Daniel Cooper Citrus Greening, HLB Management, Research

University of Florida (UF) scientists are finding that by covering new citrus trees with mesh, they can keep disease-carrying insects from harming the plants. That could be a big step toward stemming the deadly citrus greening disease, UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) researchers say. Asian citrus psyllids can infect the citrus trees with greening, also known as …


Control of Citrus Flush Timing Could Improve Psyllid Control

Daniel Cooper Citrus Greening, HLB Management, Industry News Release, Research

They say timing is everything in life, and that’s certainly true of the Asian citrus psyllid, which has devastated Florida agriculture for the past decade by transmitting citrus greening disease, also known as huanglongbing or HLB. To reproduce, this small, flying insect must lay eggs on citrus “flush” – the tender new leaves and shoots that citrus trees produce several …


New Florida Citrus Production Guide Debuts at Citrus Expo

Daniel Cooper Citrus Greening, Industry News Release, Production

Beginning this week, Florida citrus growers will have an updated resource to help them keep groves productive despite the ever-present threat of huanglongbing, the bacterial malady also known as HLB or citrus greening disease. Experts with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) have just completed a 180-page technical handbook, “Florida Citrus Production Guide 2018-2019.” It …

citrus greening

Single Breakthrough Discovery for HLB in Florida Unlikely

Daniel Cooper Citrus Greening, Industry News Release

A single breakthrough discovery for managing citrus greening in Florida in the future is unlikely, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  The committee that wrote the report called for a systems approach to prioritize research on the disease and strategically distribute resources for research to effectively manage the disease, which is the most …


Research Reveals a New Direction for Halting HLB

Daniel Cooper Citrus, Citrus Greening, Industry News Release, Research

New clues to how the bacteria associated with citrus greening infects the only insect that carries it could lead to a way to block the microbes’ spread from tree to tree, according to a study in Infection and Immunity by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) scientists. Citrus greening, also known as huanglongbing (HLB), is a serious disease dramatically …