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UF researchers answer questions about citrus fruit drop at upcoming seminar

By Ruth Borger

LAKE ALFRED, Fla. — Citrus fruit dropping before harvest has been a perennial problem for Florida growers but one that is particularly challenging during the 2020-21 growing season.

Tripti Vashisth and Fernando Alferez of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will present their latest research on this situation and answer questions from growers at a monthly zoom seminar, Feb. 16, 2021, sponsored by UF/IFAS Extension citrus agent Mongi Zekri and UF/IFAS SWFREC Associate Director Gene McAvoy.

Vashisth, will address what is the cause of preharvest fruit drop and share new information on what causes preharvest fruit drop and possible strategies to mitigate fruit drop.

Alferez will discuss how the physiology associated with fruit drop on HLB-affected trees is an opportunity to use new tools that assist in controlling it and improving yield.

“Fruit drop has been a big concern this harvest season; unfortunately, there is not much that can be done once the fruit starts to fall down. With this seminar we aim to provide the latest information to growers to make educated decisions in grove management to potentially minimize fruit drop,” said Vashisth, who has been studying the variations of citrus dropping each growing season.

At the end of the seminar, the researchers are planning to have a roundtable discussion on fruit drop where growers can bring their questions for direct consultation with them.

The digital seminar will be held on Feb. 16, 2021, 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Growers interested in attending should register in advance at https://ufl.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEkcuqurT4tHtXGwmz0pg3VBBCsxALgu271 .

After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

This seminar qualifies for one CEU for pesticide license renewal and/or one CEU for certified crop advisors.

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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.

ifas.ufl.edu  @UF_IFAS