Expanding Knowledge about citrus management for growers
Citrus worldwide is under some degree of infection, caused by a pathogen vectored by the Asian Citrus Psyllid - an invasive species in the U.S. The pathogen causes Huanglongbing - also known as HLB, or citrus greening. Currently, there is no known cure for the plant disease. However, UF/IFAS research scientists are leading the world in scientific experimentation to resolve the disease.
Meanwhile, UF/IFAS professors develop Best Management Practices to assist growers who continue to produce the high value crop in Florida. Dr. Alan Wright is one of the scientists who conducts scientific experiments, and extends knowledge to growers so that they may extend the life of trees with mild infection.
Research for citrus nutrition aims to provide Best Management Practices for Indian River District citrus growers who produce fruit on trees that hold a mild HLB infection. Research for citrus nutrition at the Wright Soils and Water Science laboratory involves the use of therapeutic treatments to improve grapefruit and orange tree health, and to help trees more effectively combat citrus greening disease.
Dr. Wright's research for the citrus undercover production system (CUPS) showcases a novel citrus management system, using screenhouse production systems to grow citrus in an HLB-free environment. The CUPS system has strong potential to assist growers with a means to grow high-value, uninfected trees. Knowledge gained from the CUPS is being utilized by several growers as they construct their own systems.