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From the Director 

Dear Friends,

March is a month when Florida is visited by many, many college and university students coming to our state for spring break.  But did you know that there we are 65 graduate students enrolled in citrus graduate programs at three UF/IFAS research and education centers in Lake Alfred (36), Fort Pierce (12), and Immokalee (17)?

These masters and doctoral students are pursuing degrees while working with faculty across all disciplines.  In addition to late nights hitting the books, they are contributing to the new discoveries that UF/IFAS faculty are pursuing to fight citrus greening, improve grove management and protect our food supply.   Faculty serve as advisors and mentors, often directing student research and providing valuable guidance.

At CREC, Dr. Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski provides leadership for the graduate student program which includes students who reside at the center. They sponsor several programs for students including an annual research symposium that offers students a valuable opportunity to present their research. Many of these students graduate and move on to research positions at other universities both nationally and internationally as well as government and industry positions.

It is just another example of how UF/IFAS citrus research and education programs are shaping the future for the global citrus industry.


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

Statewide Coordinator
UF/IFAS Citrus Research & Extension Programs

Finger Lime Symposium Planned for March 23     

Register now -- Click here!   Held Virtually 

1:00 p.m. -- 5:00 p.m. 

An overview of finger lime production, new varieties available to stakeholders, appropriate rootstocks for finger lime production, and consumer preference studies will be presented by finger lime and citrus experts.

To learn more

2022 Florida Citrus Growers Institute
April 5, 2022  8:30 a.m. -- 3:00 p.m.

Click here to register!


UF/IFAS Extension Citrus Agents are planning on being back together in-person for the 2022 version of the Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute. The program will be held on April 5, 2022, on the campus of South Florida State College’s Jay Wildstein Center for the Preforming Arts in Avon Park. Make plans now to join us for the all-day educational event complete with CEU’s for Certified Crop Advisors and Restricted Use Pesticide license holders and lunch.
Private Ag and O/T exam review at Lake County Extension Office March 25th

Up to 3 CEU’s available in numerous categories. More details can be found at following link:

Review for Ornamental & Turf and Private Ag Pesticide Applicator Licenses Tickets, Fri, Mar 25, 2022 at 9:00 AM | Eventbrite
Brandon White
UF/IFAS Extension Agent - Commercial Crop Production
and Food Systems
Lake and Orange County
Phone: 352-343-4101 ext 2729
1951 Woodlea Rd, Tavares, FL 32778 

New context for understanding citrus greening renews commitment to finding a viable solution

Sometimes in science, a new perspective brings an “a ha!” moment.  That’s what one senior researcher at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences believes happened with his latest research on Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening....

UF/IFAS’ Nian Wang’s most recent research describes in detail how HLB causes damage to citrus trees and presents the case that HLB is a pathogen-triggered immune disease. A pathogen-triggered immune disease is a disease that results from the activation of an organism’s immune cells fighting a pathogen (a virus, bacteria, or parasite) that invades an organism, in this case, the citrus plant.

This is the first time that this explanation of HLB symptoms as pathogen-triggered immune responses has been presented and defended. Seeing HLB in this new context may mean finding new solutions to the disease, faster. Pathogen-triggered immune diseases have not been reported in the world of plants that includes over 250,000 species but are common in humans....


Citrus Seminar  

Wednesday March 23, 2022 in-person or Zoom citrus seminar

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Pre-registration is required.  No registration fee and lunch is free Thanks to Ricky Bass with Custom Ag Formulations, Inc.
Please do 1 or 2, not both

  1. To reserve an in-person seat and have lunch, send an e-mail to Dr. Mongi Zekri at
  2. To attend via Zoom, click on this link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting on Zoom.
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM (Dr. Ute Albrecht)

Title: Citrus root structures and rootstock propagation methods

Summary: Recently, there has been some concern regarding the inferiority of roots in field-grown citrus trees and the possible association with the rootstock propagation method. This seminar will present an overview of the results from three years of field trials comparing seed-, cuttings-, and tissue culture propagated rootstocks grafted with Valencia. Detailed information on root structures from the nursery to the field will be provided and excavated root systems will be available for hands-on examination. The possible factors influencing root structures will be discussed.
10:45 AM – 10: 55 AM - Break
10:55 AM – 11:30 AM (Dr. Ute Albrecht and Leigh Archer)

Title: Trunk injection for delivery of HLB therapies
Summary: This presentation will provide information on the basic principles of trunk injection to deliver HLB therapies. Results from ongoing injection studies documenting the effects on tree health, pathogen reduction, fruit quality, and yield will be presented, and possible implications will be discussed.  
11:45 AM - Lunch
Location: UF/IFAS SWFREC Immokalee 
Speakers: Dr. Ute Albrecht, Assistant Professor, and Leigh Archer, PhD candidate, UF/IFAS SW Florida Research & Education Center, Immokalee
Coordinator: Dr. Mongi Zekri, Multi-County Citrus Extension Agent, UF/IFAS


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)
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 Florida legislative session is well underway in Tallahassee. The University of Florida hosted its annual Gator Day at the Capitol in February to remind lawmakers of all that the school does for its students and stakeholders. Michael Rogers, director of the Citrus Research and Education Center, and fellow citrus team members from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) made the trek to Tallahassee to showcase the importance of citrus in the state and the vital research being done on behalf of growers. Rogers discusses the trip in the February All In For Citrus podcast episode. He reports that free orange juice samples at the UF/IFAS booth were a big hit. 

UF/IFAS entomologist Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski also joins the podcast to share her research on the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and a new grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to further her study. The goal of the research is to use bacteria already present inside the ACP to manipulate the pest so it can no longer be a vector of the pathogen that causes HLB. The process is building on previous research Pelz-Stelinski and colleagues have conducted to manipulate the ACP. 

Growers will be interested to hear from Davie Kadyampakeni, a UF/IFAS assistant professor who details his new research on citrus nutrition. He has been studying the impact of macronutrients on yield, tree health and juice quality. Kadyampakeni also has been researching the importance of micronutrients like manganese, boron, zinc and iron. 

“We have seen tremendous success where we have increased the amounts of micronutrients,” Kadyampakeni says. “We are learning we need balanced and constant nutrition for these HLB-affected trees.”

Kadyampakeni says his research also is being applied to update recommendations for citrus nutrient applications that consider the impacts of HLB. 

To listen, click here


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