BY RUTH BORGER
LAKE ALFRED, Fla. — The University of Florida will resume providing growers regular flower bud advisories as the critical time for citrus grove management begins this winter. UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences assistant professor Tripti Vashisth restarted the advisories November 23 and will continue providing them every other week through the spring.
The advisories provide critical information about the intensity and time of citrus blooms. Growers use this information to determine when to spray for Asian citrus psyllid control as well as when to stop pesticide spraying so that pollinating bees may be moved into or placed near citrus blocks.
The flower bud advisories may be found at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center website at Flower Bud Induction – University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (ufl.edu) or crec.ifas.ufl.edu/flower-bud-induction.
“I am excited to continue this important service to Florida citrus growers,” said Vashisth, an assistant professor of horticulture and an Extension specialist in citrus production management. “This information is something that growers need to make timely and value-added decisions to properly manage their groves.”
Flower bud advisories are driven by the Citrus Flowering Monitor which predicts date(s) when citrus trees will bloom based on observed and predicted weather patterns and other parameters (cultivar, expected yield, tree age, and soil type). Growers can enter parameters specific to their grove to get a prediction. Knowing the bloom date is important for managing bloom and other related events. The Citrus Flowering Monitor also gives specific recommendations on how to manage bloom. The Citrus Flowering Monitor can be accessed from the advisory page or directly at: http://disc.ifas.ufl.edu/bloom
The late Gene Albrigo provided the flower bud advisories since 1998 until he died in early 2020. Additional background on the advisories over the years may be found on the website.
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.