The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and Southeast AgNet are partnering to provide the latest news on citrus-related research in a monthly podcast.
The podcast, “All in for Citrus,” features short interviews with scientists working to find solutions to citrus greening and other devastating citrus diseases.
“This is the latest tactic in a comprehensive communications effort launched this past summer by the UF/IFAS Citrus Team,” said Michael Rogers, statewide citrus research coordinator and director of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida.
The podcast complements the new website, citrusresearch.ifas.ufl.edu, and a new monthly newsletter, both launched at the August Citrus Expo held in Fort Myers, Florida.
“We are working hard to get the latest research findings directly to growers in a timelier manner,” said Rogers. “We are also streamlining the research results to focus on what growers could use immediately in their groves or what might be a longer-term strategy.”
LISTEN IN: http://citrusindustry.net/allinforcitrus/
The latest podcast is on protection practices to reduce infection of young trees.
Five UF/IFAS scientists are comparing several insect-management tools. This includes evaluation of individual protective covers (IPCs), which are essentially bag-like covers placed over newly planted trees to keep pests away.
In addition, researchers are also studying reflective mulch, kaolin clay and chemical-based insect pest management. Kaolin clay is a powdery white compound that is sprayed over the trees. Kaolin provides trees with a rough surface, making it harder for HLB-spreading psyllids to grasp. The clay may reduce the transmission of HLB and provide some shade to the plant, allowing better growth.
Through this U.S. Department of Agriculture funded project, the research team hopes to develop new recommendations and provide a comprehensive overview of existing tools that growers can use to combat HLB.
The research project has secured two years of funding. Diepenbrock hopes to receive additional funding in order to study the impacts of these tools on harvest.
This interview with Diepenbrock is part of the June All In For Citrus podcast, a joint venture of UF/IFAS and AgNet Media. Listen to the full podcast.