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Citrus growers can get answers to their questions about growing citrus in the HLB-era at upcoming UF/IFAS CREC open house

LAKE ALFRED, Fla. — Citrus growers can get answers to some of the most pressing questions about successfully and safely growing citrus in the HLB-era at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center open house and field day, Nov 16.

All UF/IFAS CREC faculty will be sharing their current findings and recommendations in 20 interactive displays.  A panel of faculty will kick off the day’s activities in a discussion on what it takes to grow healthy citrus trees in Florida.

Hands-on exhibits will feature the latest research findings to help growers keep their diseased trees productive, increase yield, fight fruit drop, manage a number of diseases including HLB and provide the right nutrition and irrigation to keep their citrus trees healthy. On-farm safety demonstrations, a fruit display, and new information about juice flavor research will also be featured. Growers can visit with faculty at their own pace.

The event provides an efficient, “one-stop” opportunity to gather a broad range of new information and production techniques.

The afternoon will feature field tours of a new ‘Jackson’ grapefruit trial of HLB-tolerant trees on six different rootstocks with high-density spacing that monitors insect and mite management and uses two sizes of individual protective covers (IPC).

Another field tour will feature an integrated project looking at reflective mulch, kaolin clay, ipcs, and their impact on nutrition, irrigation, plant pathology and overall tree growth.

The CREC Processing Pilot Plant which contains most of the equipment necessary to perform studies related to citrus, beverage and by-products processing will also be open for tours. Visitors will be able to see the operations of fruit washing and sizing, state test extraction, juice extraction and finishing, centrifugation, evaporation, pasteurization and filtration. Research capabilities are available to support the studies of the scientists and for cooperative industry projects.

The open house event runs 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and lunch is provided. The event is free, but preregistration is required to ensure an accurate food count. To register visit: https://crecfieldday21.eventbrite.com.  Please reply by November 11. For more information, please contact Jamie Burrow at jdyates@ufl.edu  or the UF/IFAS CREC at (863) 956-1151.

Exhibit titles

  • New web-apps for diagnosing pest, disease and nutrient disorders and the CUPS production system
  • Tree health management
  • The future potential of cybridization
  • Australian lime genetics to combat HLB
  • Understanding the economics of HLB-grove management
  • Biological tools for decreasing pathogen transmission –
  • Water and nutrient management
  • Graft transmittable diseases
  • Disease identification skill sharpening
  • Weevil management and responding to nematodes
  • Exciting and new tools for managing pests in citrus
  • Managing pests and their relatives
  • HLB Pathogen culturing and RNA interference
  • The CTV virus vector and its role in fighting HLB
  • Treating HLB-positive trees
  • New varieties fruit display
  • Understanding consumer behavior and producing competitive citrus products
  • Providing a good environment for tree growth
  • Assessing root health
  • On-farm food safety

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The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents.