Subtropical Fruit Crops Research & Education
University of California
Subtropical Fruit Crops Research & Education

Posts Tagged: citrus

O NO, It's Raining

Thanks for the rains that leach the soils of accumulated salts and bring on new fresh growth. Or maybe not. When we apply irrigation water with salts which with few exceptions we do in irrigated agriculture, salts accumulate in the soil. They accumulate in a certain pattern depending on the type of irrigation and soil type. There's a strong tendency for drip and microsprinklers to form a pattern of salt accumulation near the margins of the wetted patterns. This pattern is stronger with drip because the source point is always pushing a front outward from the emission point. This pattern occurs with microsprinklers, as well, although not as strongly. These patterns continue to form and accumulate as long as there is no rainfall to evenly push the salt down below the root zone. The longer the period of no rain, the larger the salt concentration at the margin.

So the way water moves is generally down. It moves in a wetting front drawn by gravity. It moves laterally too, because of the attraction water has for the soil particles. It will move laterally more in a clay soil than in a sandy soil because there are more particles in a clay soil than a sand (actually more surfaces that hold water). It also carries salt with it. Wherever the water moves, the salt moves. The more rain, the more salt is moved down. The more rain, the deeper the salt is pushed.

The problem with rain, is that if there is not enough, the salt tends to move laterally. In this wet soil solution, the salt is moving from where it is concentrated, to where there is a lower one. And if there isn't enough rain to move that salt down, it just moves back along the salt gradient, back to where the water first came from…….towards the roots. And that salt may be at such a high concentration that it can cause plant damage.

We talk about effective rainfall. This is usually about a quarter of an inch of rain. This is the amount of water to do more than just wet the dust, it's the amount to move water into the root zone. It is also moving salts into the root zone which can be a real problem. A good rain will do more than wet the dust, it will also move the salts out of harm's way in the root zone. The amount of rain necessary to do this is going to depend on the salt accumulated and the soil texture. The more salt, the more rain needed. The finer the texture, the more rain.

So there is no good cookbook, other than you need enough. And the first rains of the year, watch out. This is often when there is the highest salt accumulation and in the fall when we have the most irregular rains. Small rain amounts that can move salt into the root zone.  A rule of thumb is a minimum of a good one inch rain event or combined rain events of two inches in a short period is needed to dissolve and move the salts out of the avocado root zone's top 18 inches. The more the better.

If there is not enough rain……………The solution !!!!!!!! Run the irrigation system to make sure there is enough to move that salt down.

Get ready to irrigate with the first rains if they are insufficient for adequate leaching.

 

Also get ready for the first smell of rain - petrichor.

Petrichor (/ˈpɛtrɪkɔːr/) is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek petra (πέτρα), meaning "stone", and īchōr (ἰχώρ), the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.

The term was coined in 1964 by two Australian CSIRO researchers, Isabel Joy Bear and Richard G. Thomas, for an article in the journal Nature.[1][2] In the article, the authors describe how the smell derives from an oil exuded by certain plants during dry periods, whereupon it is absorbed by clay-based soils and rocks. During rain, the oil is released into the air along with another compound, geosmin, a metabolic by-product of certain actinobacteria, which is emitted by wet soil, producing the distinctive scent; ozone may also be present if there is lightning.[3] In a follow-up paper, Bear and Thomas (1965) showed that the oil retards seed germination and early plant growth.[4]

In 2015, scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) used high-speed cameras to record how the scent moves into the air.[5] The tests involved approximately 600 experiments on 28 different surfaces, including engineered materials and soil samples.[6] When a raindrop lands on a porous surface, air from the pores forms small bubbles, which float to the surface and release aerosols.[5] Such aerosols carry the scent, as well as bacteria and viruses from the soil.[5] Raindrops that move at a slower rate tend to produce more aerosols; this serves as an explanation for why the petrichor is more common after light rains.[5]

The human nose is extremely sensitive to geosmin and is able to detect it at concentrations as low as 5 parts per trillion.[7] Some scientists believe that humans appreciate the rain scent because ancestors may have relied on rainy weather for survival.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrichor

avocado salt damage
avocado salt damage

salt pattern
salt pattern

salt rings
salt rings

Posted on Friday, November 16, 2018 at 7:00 AM
Tags: avocado (128), citrus (277), EC (1), irrigaiton (1), petrichor (1), rain (6), salt damage (5), smell (1)

Rootey Tootey - Citrus Fruitey!!!

Grower and the Public are invited to see, taste and hear about the citrus fruits and trees that make an industry and an iconic fruit in this State.  There are two separate days, One for Growers and One for the general Public.  Note the two different days and Pick your  special day.

 

Citrus Growers - Current and Future

Date: December 14, 2018

Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Contact: Jasmin Del Toro: 559-592-2408 ext 1151

Sponsor: Lindcove Research and Extension Center

LocationLindcove Research and Extension Center

Event Details

Citrus growers and other Ag professionals are invited to attend the Citrus Fruit Display and Tasting on Dec 14, 2018. You can discuss new low seeded citrus varieties with Dr. Mikeal Roose and ask UC advisors Craig Kallsen and Greg Douhan your citrus questions. In addition to taste-testing fruit, there will be a walking tour at 10:00 AM starting with a presentation of the Citrus Clonal Protection Program by Dr. Georgios Vidalakis, continuing on to the demonstration orchard with Dr. Tracy Kahn who will discuss varieties and a tour of the new lemon variety trial by Dr. Roose.

Directions: Take Highway198 east to Mehrten Drive (approximately 15 miles) and follow the signs to our Event. The University of California, Lindcove Research and Extension Center is located at 22963 Carson Avenue, Exeter, CA.The Conference Center is located at the end of Carson Avenue on the right. If you have any questions please contact Jasmin Del Toro at 559-592-2408  ext 1151 or jzdeltoro@ucanr.edu

 

 Grower day schedule of events 2018

 Public

Date: December 15, 2018

Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Contact: Jasmin Del Toro: 559-592-2408 ext 1151

Sponsor: Lindcove Research and Extension Center

LocationLindcove Research and Extension Center

Event Details

The general public is invited to join us for a family friendly Citrus Tasting Event. You can see and taste more than 100 citrus varieties that are grown at Lindcove Research and Extension Center. Take a bag of fruit home for $10. Choose from Cara Caras, Navels, Mandarins, or assorted citrus from 4 bins located in front of the Conference Center. The Master Gardeners as well as UC Cooperative Extension Advisors will be happy to answer questions from home gardeners and citrus connoisseurs.

Directions: Take Highway198 east to Mehrten Drive (approximately 15 miles) and follow the signs to our Event. The University of Lindcove Research and Extension Center is located at 22963 Carson Avenue Exeter, CA. The Conference Center is located at the end of Carson Avenue. If you have any questions please contact Jasmin Del Toro at 559-592-2408 Ext 1151 or jzdeltoro@ucanr.edu

 Lindcove Fruit Display Tasting-home owners 2018

citrus cornucopia
citrus cornucopia

Posted on Monday, November 5, 2018 at 5:02 AM
Tags: citrus (277), demonstration (1), lemon (79), varieities (1)

Ready! Set! Split! Navel Orange Time.

These are hard days for navel oranges.  Drought stress.  Salt stress due to drought. Then a heat wave in July that messed the trees up.  And now we head into a weird fall with maybe rain. Maybe no rain. Maybe a little rain. This is ripe for navel splitting. This time of year when they are starting to build sugar, they are also ripe for splitting.

Years of drought, and a stressed tree are a perfect set up for navel oranges and fruit splitting.
The days have turned cooler and suddenly out of nowhere there is rain. That wonderful stuff comes down and all seems right with the world, but then you notice the navel fruit are splitting. Rats! No, a dehydrated fruit that has taken on more water than its skin can take in and the fruit splits. This is called an abiotic disease.  Not really a disease but a problem brought on by environmental conditions.

Fruit splitting is a long-standing problem in most areas where navel oranges are grown. In some years, the number of split fruit is high; in other years it is low. Splitting in navel oranges usually occurs on green fruit between September and November. In some years, splitting may also occur in Valencia oranges but it is less of a problem than in navel oranges.

Several factors contribute to fruit splitting. Studies indicate that changes in weather including temperature, relative humidity and wind may have more effect on fruit splitting than anything else. The amount of water in a citrus tree changes due to weather conditions and this causes the fruit to shrink and swell as water is lost or gained. If the water content changes too much or too rapidly the rind may split. In navel oranges the split usually occurs near the navel, which is a weak point in the rind.

Proper irrigation and other cultural practices can help reduce fruit splitting. Maintaining adequate but not excessive soil moisture is very important. A large area of soil around a tree should be watered since roots normally grow somewhat beyond the edge of the canopy. Wet the soil to a depth of at least 2 feet then allow it to become somewhat dry in the top few inches before irrigating again. Applying a layer of coarse organic mulch under a tree beginning at least a foot from the trunk can help conserve soil moisture and encourage feeder roots to grow closer to the surface.  

If trees are fertilized, apply the correct amount of plant food and water thoroughly after it is applied.  If the soil is dry, first irrigate, then apply fertilizer and irrigate again.

navel split
navel split

Posted on Friday, November 2, 2018 at 4:55 AM
Tags: citrus (277), irrigation (31), navel orange (2), rain (6), water (16), weather (1)

ACP Control Soon?

VISALIA – Last week's California Citrus Conference marked a major milestone for growers, and it wasn't just the 50th anniversary of the Visalia-based Citrus Research Board (CRB). It was a resounding revelation that new research may cure the greatest threat to the citrus industry in the next few years.

Michelle Heck, a molecular biologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, discusses her research to breed a new citrus pest that does not transmit the fatal tree disease known as huanglongbing. Photo by Michael Alvarez.

Michelle Heck, a molecular biologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, discusses her research to breed a new citrus pest that does not transmit the fatal tree disease known as huanglongbing. Photo by Michael Alvarez.

Michelle Heck, PhD, told the crowd of citrus growers at the Wyndham Hotel on Oct. 10 that her team might only need that much time to inbreed a generation of Asian citrus psyllids that are incapable of transmitting the deadly tree disease known as huanglongbing (HLB). The disease has already destroyed China's citrus industry, decimated Florida and Texas growing regions and is currently killing the citrus industry in Brazil.

One grower commented, “China's been dealing with this for 100 years and Brazil for 14 years. We've had this for four to five years in California and we are already knocking on the door of nailing it. That's impressive!”

Heck, a molecular biologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, was the first to lead a team of scientists to study the proteins involved in the interaction of the pest, plant and pathogen. One of those proteins creates a blue color in the blood of some psyllids. Her research revealed that psyllids containing the blue protein are far less efficient at transmitting HLB to the plant than others. She then bred those psyllids and took their progency and raised them on orange jasmine hedges, better known as Murraya, a plant the psyllids are attracted but is HLB resistant. The combination of the pest and plant reduced transmission of HLB to healthy citrus leaves from 32% to 2.9%.

Heck said the next steps are to continue breeding the pests that are poor transmitters of the disease to create a line of psyllids that do not transmit HLB at all. She said it would take another two years to breed an “optimized line” of the psyllid but once that was complete, that line could begin mass breeding for release.

“By sheer numbers, we can tip the scales [in the fight against HLB],” she said, “but it's unknown if these lines will out compete other psyllids [in the field].”

One grower asked if the non-transmitting line of the pest would be considered a genetically modified organism, or GMO, a distinction that could hurt fruit grown in groves with the new pest. Heck said all of the psyllids would be bred natuarally, so there is no genetic alteration of the insect itself.

“This is something the anti-GMO groups should feel good about,” Heck said.

Best Case Scenario

Victoria Hornbaker, Statewide Citrus Program Manager for the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), called the current HLB situation in California a best case scenario. She said the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program's (CPDPP) No. 1 priority is to quickly detect and remove diseased trees. Shortly after the discovery of the first HLB tree in 2012, California's myriad of citrus agencies worked together to quickly implement measures to control movement of fruit and nursery stock, monitor and suppress the ACP population, and begin working on ways to detect the disease and possibly cure it.

“Instead of all commercial groves being covered by a quarantine, we said we're going to quarantine the whole state,” Hornbaker said.

By limiting the movement of citrus in and out of different quarantine zones, there is less likelihood of transporting trees from an infected area to an uninfected area. If any infected trees are discovered, they are removed, destroyed and replaced with a healthy tree. There are many early detection techniques (EDTs) being studied throughout the country, including looking for patterns in leaves, chemicals produced by trees in response to HLB, and studying molecules of the bacteria causing the disease. A recent analysis of these EDTs showed that most are about 95% effective in identifying an infected tree, and that losing 5% of healthy trees is an acceptable loss compared to devastation caused by the disease spreading unchecked.

While early detection methods of ACP are still being perfected, the fight to control the spread of the psyllid is not. After research identified the microscopic parasitic wasp radiate terminaxia as the natural enemy of the psyllid, they began working to mass produce and release them. To date, more than 11 million wasps have bee released in citrus growing regions since 2013, the closest being in Kern County.

Reproduced from Sun Gazette:

http://www.thesungazette.com/article/news/2018/10/17/pests-that-spread-citrus-disease-are-key-to-cure/

ACp
ACp

Posted on Friday, October 19, 2018 at 8:22 AM
  • Author: Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
Tags: ACP (48), Asian Citrus Psyllid (35), citrus (277), HLB (39), huanglongbing (37)

Avocado in Southern California - 1911

In 1911, the avocado was a relatively new crop in Southern California and the great USDA plant explorer Wilson Popenoe (pronounced POP e Noe according to Jack Shepherd), describes avocado culture and its problems

https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/137628#page/31/mode/thumb

This is from the first volume ever of the Pomona Journal of Economic Botany which also has a nice description of "wither tip" of citrus in Santa Paula.

https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/137628#page/5/mode/1up

 

Cover Avocado in Southern California - Wilson Popenoe
Cover Avocado in Southern California - Wilson Popenoe

Posted on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 5:47 AM
Tags: avocado (128), citrus (277), disease (32), horticulture (2), propagation (1)

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