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

Florida citrus industry struggles to stay ahead of citrus greening

In Southeast Farm Press

by John Hart, Southeast Farm Press

The Florida citrus industry knew citrus greening disease could come but was not well prepared to tackle the disease once it appeared.

So says Bob Shatters, a research molecular biologist with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Fort  Pierce, Fla., who added the big lesson from the devastating disease is to keep an eye out for what’s occurring internationally and be willing to address issues before major problems occur. Continue reading

Skaria receives Potts Award for novel contributions to the citrus industry

From Texas A&M AgriLife

Dr. Mani Skaria, a retired citrus plant pathologist and innovative entrepreneur from McAllen, has won the 2016 Arthur T. Potts Award for his “outstanding contributions and service to the citrus industry of the Rio Grande Valley.”

The award was presented earlier this month at the 70th annual meeting of the Subtropical Agriculture and Environments Society held at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco. Continue reading

Florida researchers try to attack citrus greening on all fronts

In Southeast Farm Press

By Kimberly Moore Wilmoth, University of Florida

Although current methods to control the spread of citrus greening are limited to aggressive psyllid control and the removal and destruction of infected trees, researchers are working to defeat it on a number of fronts, including suppressing the psyllid, breeding citrus rootstock that shows better greening resistance and testing chemical treatments that could be used on trees.

International researchers, including ones at the University of Florida and Florida State University, are sharing in a $4 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to attack the problem of citrus greening, a disease that has devastated citrus crops in Florida. Continue reading

New treatment for citrus greening also treats human gout

In Southeast Farm Press

A University of Florida research team is cautiously optimistic after finding a possible treatment in the lab for citrus greening, the disease that threatens to cripple the nation’s citrus industry. The new finding uses a chemical also used to treat gout in humans.

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Agriculture Appropriations bill includes new funding for citrus disease research

In Southeast Farm Press

The federal Agriculture Appropriations bill for FY2014 approved by the full committee Jan. 13 includes additional funding for citrus disease research.

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New citrus disease affects commercial growers, not backyard growers

A citrus disease fairly new to Louisiana may cause problems for commercial growers, but not so much for backyard growers, according to LSU AgCenter experts.

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