Citrus greening confirmed in Alabama

In Southeast Farm Press

by Cary Blake

The feared citrus disease Huanglongbing (HLB) – a.k.a. citrus greening – has been confirmed in Alabama, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI).

HLB was found in leaf and insect samples from a residential property on Dauphin Island in Mobile County. Dauphin Island is a town located on a barrier island with the same name at the Gulf of Mexico. Continue reading

Citrus Disease Research and Extension (CDRE)

The Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (CDRE) is authorized in the Agricultural Act of 2014 (H.R. 2642) to award grants to eligible entities to conduct research and extension activities, technical assistance and development activities to: (a) combat citrus diseases and pests, both domestic and invasive and including huanglongbing and the Asian citrus psyllid, which pose imminent harm to United States citrus production and threaten the future viability of the citrus industry; and (b) provide support for the dissemination and commercialization of relevant information, techniques, and technologies discovered pursuant to research and extension activities funded through SCRI/CDRE and other research and extension projects targeting problems caused by citrus production diseases and invasive pests. Continue reading

Citrus grower education program slated for May 9 in Mission, TX

An educational program for Rio Grande Valley citrus growers on the practical aspects of new water conservation technologies will be held from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. May 9 at the Lone Star Citrus Growers headquarters, 9625 N. Moorefield Road, Mission.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. at the citrus growers’ packing house. The program is co-hosted by the Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center and the Texas Water Development Board. Continue reading

Researchers discover protein that aids in spreading citrus greening

In Southwest Farm Press

Since the introduction of Huánglóngbìng (HLB—yellow dragon disease—better known as citrus greening disease) onto U.S. soil in a Florida citrus grove in 2005, the disease has been a major threat to commercial citrus production across the country.

Before arriving in North America, HLB had already carved a path of destruction across the Far East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the Arabian Peninsula, and was discovered in July 2004 in Brazil. In its wake it left citrus growers around the world astounded at the inevitable and long-lasting risks the disease poses to the global citrus industry. Continue reading

U of Florida research finds a natural method to reduce post-harvest fruit decay

University of Florida researchers, through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education grant, have found a natural method of reducing post-harvest citrus fruit decay.

In a SSARE Graduate Student Grant study, researchers found that essential oils, specifically carvacrol and thymol, significantly decrease ‘Ruby Red’ grapefruit natural decay, weight loss and chilling injury during storage while not affecting internal fruit quality.  In addition, the essential oils also help control diplodia stem end rot (Lasiodiplodia theobromae), a fungal disease of ‘Ruby Red’ grapefruit. The results point to more sustainable alternatives of fungicide use in the industry. Continue reading

Research assistant positions available at NCSU

Up to 3 Research Assistant positions are available at the Center for IPM at North Carolina State University to work with citrus or other fruit tree diseases and/or insect vector systems to advance basic and applied understanding or the biology, detection, sampling and/or management of associated plant pathogens. The incumbents will be responsible for: (1) Active participation in one or more phases of the research process by performing a variety of microbiological, epidemiological, and molecular techniques for laboratory, greenhouse or field experiments; (2) Independent research design and performance of protocols for molecular and epidemiological studies using specialized equipment such as real-time PCR apparatus, compound and stereo microscopes, and have the ability to adjust protocols and develop new methods when necessary; (3) Independent performance of statistical analyses of experimental data using general statistical packages as well as specific software supplied by the lead scientist, tabulation and summarization of statistical output, preparation of graphical presentation of results and aid in preparation of written reports; (4) work in collaboration with other Biological Scientists and Technicians in conduct of laboratory, field, or greenhouse research, and assurance that they comply with procedures for research conduct under quarantine conditions. The incumbent’s duty station will be the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Click here for the full posting and to apply.

If citrus greening wasn’t enough, citrus growers now have another disease to worry about

In Growing Produce

by Frank Giles

The notion that anything would knock HLB out of the headlines in the Florida citrus industry is hard to believe, but postbloom fruit drop (PFD) has grabbed the attention of growers across the state. For the past three seasons, the ailment has come back and is epidemic in some groves.

While HLB clearly enhances PFD, the problem, caused by the fungus Colletotrichum acutatum, has been around for a long time, being first formally described in Belize in 1979. The fungus will infect flowers of all species of citrus, creating orange-brown lesions in the blooms. The fruitlets will then drop leaving buttons behind. In more normal years, PFD effects Navel and Valencia, however this past season, Hamlins also were impacted. Continue reading