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An outdoor advanced citrus production system (ACPS) intended to produce citrus quickly in the face of HLB works well, but only for a few years. University of Florida scientist Arnold Schumann explains why, and discusses his efforts to keep trees doing well longer by growing them under screen. He’s optimistic the system might be feasible for high-value fresh citrus in niche markets. 

Citrus Undercover Battle with HLB

 by Ernie of Southeast AgNet Radio Network – November 24th, 2014

Full Story and Audio can be found at:

Citrus being grown in containers both inside and outside screen houses was featured during a November 5 Advanced Citrus Production Field Day at the Indian River Research and Education Center. The field day was presented by University of Florida speakers. In the first report, Barrett Gruber discusses positive early results growing the trees under screen in an effort to keep out HLB-spreading psyllids. In the second report, Brian Boman reports on irrigation of containerized trees.

Growing Citrus in Pots and Screen Houses

 by Ernie of Southeast AgNet Radio Network – November 6th, 2014 
  Full Story and Audio can be found at:  

Fresh citrus fruit production in the state of Florida has been limited in recent years due to the effects of huanglongbing (HLB) disease. The causal pathogen of HLB, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, is vectored by the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP, Diaphorina citri). Affected citrus trees display chlorotic leaves and limbs, and fruit is usually discolored, misshapen, and otherwise of sub-standard quality. In November, 2013, a series of trials were initiated at the University of Florida, Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce. These trials are evaluating different, new production scenarios for fresh citrus (focusing on ‘Ray Ruby’ grapefruit and ‘Valencia’ orange) in the age of HLB in Florida. Production elements of interest are high-density tree planting (i.e. greater than 400 trees/acre), drip liquid-fertigation, and weather-sensor guided irrigation scheduling. Collectively, these elements of interest are referred to as “Advanced Production Systems” (APS) and are being compared to control plots of grapefruit and orange planted according to conventional methods (i.e. less than 200 trees/acre and using dry, granular fertilizer). It is expected that the APS tree blocks will come into profitable bearing earlier than blocks planted at conventional standards, and that this accelerated fruit production will help offset the negative pressure of HLB. Included in these trials are protected culture grapefruit plantings that are evaluating the feasibility of producing fresh fruit in enclosed structures. These structures were made with screen cloth that physically separates the tree and the ACP insect vector. In this respect, HLB development should be prevented in grapefruit trees planted within these enclosures, relative to open-air grapefruit plantings. The system of covered fruit production is referred to as “Citrus Undercover Production Systems” (CUPS) and has ‘Ray Ruby’ grapefruit planted at super-high densities (i.e. greater than 800 trees/acre) with drip liquid-fertigation. These trials are on-going; however, their progress-to-date, with regards to tree-growth, will be reported and discussed.

What University Researchers and Leading Experts

are Saying about Screen Houses ?

  Wednesday, July 30, 2014: 8:45 AM Barrett Gruber , University of Florida,IFAS-IRREC, Fort Pierce, FL Brian Boman , Indian River Research and Education Center, University of Florida,IFAS-IRREC, Fort Pierce, FL Arnold W. Schumann, Associate Professor , University of Florida, Lake Alfred, FL Fred G. Gmitter , Citrus Research and Education Center, University of Florida/IFAS, Lake Alfred, FL Jude W. Grosser , Citrus Research and Education Center, University of Florida/IFAS, Lake Alfred, FL

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