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 associate professor Tripti Vashisth restarted the advisories December 2 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 websites 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, a faculty member in horticultural sciences 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.”
“This is going to be a La Niña winter, second in a row, which means Florida will experience temperatures warmer than normal and rainfall lower than normal. We are in for a warm and dry winter weather,” Vashisth said in the first advisory of this season.
“Under these conditions, enough hours below 68 degrees are likely to accumulate to induce an economic level of flower buds but intermediate warm periods during the winter can lead to multiple flower cohorts and a very prolonged bloom. On the positive side, if dry weather prevails during the bloom period, there could potentially be lower incidence of post-bloom fruit drop.”
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 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.