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From the Director 

November, 2021 


At the recent Citrus Research and Education Center open house, I heard many growers share how they appreciated meeting with faculty to discuss how their research could help them in their groves.  Over 20 faculty and their research teams hosted interactive exhibits that brought their science directly to growers.  I know that our faculty benefitted from the direct feedback and input that our visitors shared with them. 

That’s how our research and extension programs work best – when we are able to work with citrus growers and exchange ideas.  Some of our best programs evolve from these collaborations.  Whether it is a new variety field trial, a pest management solution, a nutrition study, or an irrigation experiment, grower involvement is critical to our mutual success.

I hope that we can continue to count on growers to support five recently funded projects that UF/IFAS citrus scientists will be advancing in the next year.  The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension (ECDRE) program awarded five grants totally nearly $11 million to citrus greening research. UF/IFAS is participating in all five projects and is the lead institution on three of them. You can read more about these projects in this newsletter.

Together we are making a difference in the fight against citrus greening.  That is something I am very grateful for during this season of thanksgiving.


Michael E. Rogers
Professor and Center Director
UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred

Statewide Coordinator
UF/IFAS Citrus Research & Extension Programs

University of Florida citrus faculty secure federal fundi
ng in ongoing fight against citrus greening


University of Florida citrus researchers continue to provide innovative leadership in the fight against the devastating disease Huanglongbing, also known as citrus greening disease.

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (ECDRE) recently awarded over $2.2 million in three grants to UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty to advance the known science to fight the disease.

In addition, UF/IFAS researchers are serving in leadership roles in two other multi-million-dollar grants awarded to colleague institutions from across the nation.

Collectively, these projects provide an aggressive strategy to finding viable, realistic solutions in the fight against citrus greening and represent over $3.5 in federal funding for UF/IFAS research. More importantly, UF/IFAS researchers are participating in each of the five grants awarded in this funding cycle.


UF/IFAS Extension Citrus Field Day 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021
9:30  a.m. to noon 

UF/IFAS Extension Polk County
Stuart Conference Center
1710 US Hwy 17 S
Bartow, Florida

Host: Chris Oswalt,  UF/IFAS Citrus Extension Agent
Presenters:  Tripti Vashisth and Amit Levy,  UF/IFAS CREC

Join UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center scientists and tour a citrus nutrition trial and a gibberelic acid (GA) field trial.

Dr. Vashisth field presentation will be discussing the results of a citrus nutrition field trial that was designed to provide an effective mitigation of  HLB-infected citrus trees. The results of the trial indicate that HLB can be managed to some degree in the field using mineral nutrition. The results will include recommendations on how to use this information in existing groves.

Dr. Levy will be discussing and demonstrating methodologies using canopy density values to evaluate the efficacy of nutritional treatments used to manage HLB. This type of in-field technology can help growers determine quantitatively the results of HLB management programs. This evaluation methodology can be used for practices related to nutrition, pest, and disease management.

At the GA trial, Dr. Tripti Vashisth will make a field presentation of the use of timely gibberellin acids (GA) sprays to manage citrus flowering and citrus tree stress. The information provided will demonstrate the mitigating effects of GA on HLB-infected citrus trees. The information will  provide growers with current recommendations and use rate information on this use of GA to enhance citrus tree yield.

Lunch will be provided.  There is no cost but pre-registration is  required.

To register:


2022 Flavor Summit

February 22-24, 2022

We're back!   

After a Covid-related postponement, the Flavor Summit returns!

February 22-24, 2022 

Rosen Plaza Hotel 
Orlando, Florida 

Also sponsored by the UF Center for Smell and Taste 

To register: Flavor Summit Tickets, Tue, Feb 22, 2022 at 7:00 AM | Eventbrite

Images from UF/IFAS CREC Open House/Field Day 2021
Fresh Citrus Fruit Trainings

Fresh Citrus Growers, Harvesters, and Packers:
We are again making our usual Fresh Citrus Fruit Training program available via Internet.  Companies can pick and choose what they specifically need from the following narrated modules:
  • Food Safety
  • Personal Hygiene
  • CDC-Issued Guidance for COVID-19 in Agricultural Workplaces
  • Worker Protection Standard (WPS) – Field Crews and Harvesters
  • Chemical Hazards – Packinghouse Personnel
  • Citrus Fruit Disease Identification (esp. Citrus Canker & Citrus Black Spot)
  • Ladder Safety
  • Tractor Safety
Upon successful completion, each participant will receive a Certificate of Attendance.
The cost is only $3 per person total for as many modules as they wish to take, or a maximum of $100 per company.
Certificates and training kits (hand sanitizer, mask, educational materials, and more) will be sent via FedEx.
You can access the trainings at:


Amir Rezazadeh (Questions & In-Person Scheduling)

Christine Kelly-Begazo (Training Payment)
772-226-4330 x3

Mark Ritenour

Jamie Burrow (Certificates/Technical Support)
Upcoming Fruit Displays

Hosts: Dr. Fred Gmitter and Dr. Jude Grosser
Oranges, orange-like fruit, new grapefruit hybrids, tangerine types, and acid fruit.
Attendees will be channeled through the room in a singular direction, where they will be given an opportunity to sample fruit, peel fruit (when applicable), and score the general characteristics and traits of the displayed selections.  Juice may be provided.

The Plant Improvement Team will be present for discussion and questions. Attendees are requested to refrain from socializing until they have completed the display. This typically takes around 45 minutes.
December 14, 2021:  CREC Ben Hill Griffin Auditorium, Lake Alfred
10:00 AM                                  

December 2021 Zoom Citrus Seminar

Date & Time: Wednesday, December 1, 2021, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Title: Scouting and Management of Citrus Pests

The presentation will cover recognition, monitoring, and management of insect and mite pests of citrus and their natural enemies. Cultural, biological, and chemical methods of pest control particularly for Asian citrus psyllid will be discussed.

Speaker: Dr. Jawwad Qureshi, Associate Professor, UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, Immokalee

Coordinator: Dr. Mongi Zekri, Multi-County Citrus Extension Agent, UF-IFAS

1 CEU for pesticide license renewal, 1 CEU for certified crop advisors

Register in advance for this meeting:

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

January 2022 Zoom Citrus Seminar

Date & Time: Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Title: Scouting and Management of Citrus Diseases (HLB, Phytophthora, Leprosis)

Speaker: Dr. Ozgur Batuman, Assistant Professor, UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, Immokalee

Coordinator: Dr. Mongi Zekri, Multi-County Citrus Extension Agent, UF-IFAS

1 CEU for pesticide license renewal, 1 CEU for certified crop advisors

Register in advance for this meeting:

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

CEUs for pesticide license renewal

Earn CEU Credits NOW online through Southeast AgNet & Citrus Industry Magazine

The following series of articles and quizzes are available with their expiration dates noted:

2020 #4: Protecting People From Pesticide Exposure (10/31/22)
2021 #3: Before You Spray (7/31/22)
2021 #2: When a Pesticide Doesn’t Work (4/30/22)
2021 #1: The Goals of Pest Management (1/31/22)

Each article grants one General Standards (Core) CEU when submitted and approved toward the renewal of a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services restricted-use pesticide license.

FYI, there are also CORE CEU available at Growing Produce

Online Pesticide CEUs

The important process that gets new citrus varieties in the hands of growers is the main topic of the November episode of the All In For Citrus podcast.

Michael Rogers, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) director, discusses the recent CREC open house where breeders displayed potential new varieties for the industry to see. Rogers says growers get a chance to taste and rate the fruit, which is valuable information for researchers. The open house also included several field tours, including one that Rogers describes as extremely practical that involves techniques growers can use now to keep operations profitable in the midst of HLB disease.

Once UF/IFAS completes the process of creating a new variety for release to the public, several things need to happen next that involve partnerships. That’s where Peter Chaires, executive director of New Varieties Development & Management Corp. (NVDMC), and John Beuttenmuller, executive director of Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc. enter the equation.

The non-profit Florida Foundation Seed Producers is a direct support organization that bridges the gap between UF/IFAS and growers. NVDMC, also a non-profit, files patents on the new products and works with nurseries and partner companies for fresh fruit varieties.

Chaires says NVDMC brings new varieties to commercialization. He explains how the process has changed over the years for the better, streamlining the development chain and increasing efficiency.

The patents that NVDMC file on new varieties provide a steady income for future development. Beuttenmuller said 70% of the royalties from those patents are returned to the UF/IFAS citrus breeding program.


Listen to the full episode of the November All In For Citrus podcast here.


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