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UF/IFAS Citrus Research

UF/IFAS Citrus Research


For media inquiries, please contact:

Ruth Borger
Communications Specialist
UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center
863-965-8612 office
517-803-7631 cell


Past Press Releases

July 2022

2022 Florida Citrus Expo Offers Robust Program of Research and Hands-On Info for Growers August 17 -18 - 7/26/2022

April 2022

OJ is not only good for you, but good for all of us - 4/30/2022

Key accomplishments in fighting citrus greening disease 2005 – 2020 - 4/8/2022

Growers can learn more about Plant Growth Regulators and Citrus at Free Webinar - 4/6/2022
Florida citrus growers can learn more about the use of plant-growth regulators (PGRs) and how they can fight against fruit drop at an upcoming online webinar presented by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

March 2022

2022 Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute Returns In-Person - 3/10/2022
Citrus Greening or Huanglongbing (HLB) continues to impact citrus production areas of Florida. The 2022 Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute is an opportunity for Florida citrus growers to come together to learn about effective management of HLB and other challenging diseases affecting the industry.

PFD Alert: Be vigilant, stay alert! - 3/9/2022
With the recent rain and forecasted rain triggering Postbloom Fruit Drop (PFD) alerts in multiple locations, please visit the Citrus Advisory System – AgroClimate regularly to monitor the situation along with bloom status in your blocks with PFD history.

New context for understanding citrus greening renews commitment to finding a viable solution - 3/2/2022
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.

February 2022

Finger Limes, unique new options for Florida growers, topic of March symposium - 2/17/2022
Finger limes, a unique citrus variety gaining interest among chefs, foodies and citrus growers, will be the topic of an upcoming symposium sponsored by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center.

Research aims to boost production of blueberries, conserve water - 2/4/2022
Research in the UF/IFAS soil and water sciences department aims to help Florida’s expanding blueberry operations while also conserving water.

January 2022

Citrus Irrigation and Nutrient Management Workshop Planned for February 8 - 1/13/2022
Citrus growers depend on the latest information regarding the best irrigation and nutrition strategies for growing productive trees.

UF survey: ‘Florida’ branding on orange juice helps it sell better - 1/10/2022
Consumers are more likely to buy orange juice if they think the fruit comes from Florida, new University of Florida research shows. In fact, top reasons consumers purchase orange juice include taste, health benefits and origin of the fruit.

The 2022 Flavor Summit is taking a slight pivot  - 1/10/2022
While excitement is growing about the 2nd annual Flavor Summit-Industry Perspectives this February 22-24, several potential participants have shared their concerns about attending in person because of the Covid omicron variant.

December 2021

UF Flavor Summit Returns in 2022  - 12/9/2021
After a year’s postponement because of the Covid pandemic, the University of Florida is hosting the 2022 Flavor Summit – Industry Perspectives, February 22-24, 2022.

Citrus Flower Bud Advisories Resume for 2021-22 - 12/6/2021
The University of Florida will resume providing growers regular flower bud advisories as the critical time for citrus grove management begins this winter.

November 2021

UF research: Mesh covers protect citrus trees from psyllids that transmit greening disease - 11/29/2021
About four years ago, Fernando Alferez started to test if citrus trees grown inside a protective mesh cover could be kept safe from the potential deadly Asian citrus psyllid.

Citrus nutrition and gibberellic acid field day planned December 14  - 11/29/2021
Growers can learn more about recent citrus field trials on nutrition and gibberellic acid and their impact on tree health at a field day hosted by UF/IFAS Extension Polk County, Tuesday, December 14.

University of Florida citrus faculty secure federal funding in ongoing fight against citrus greening  - 11/18/2021
The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program 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.

Who was Ben Hill Griffin Jr.? - 11/12/2021
We all know Ben Hill Griffin as the name on the stadium where the Florida Gators play, but who was this celebrated figure behind that name?

Citrus growers can get answers to their questions about growing citrus in the HLB-era at upcoming UF/IFAS CREC open house  - 11/3/2021
Citrus growers can get answers to some of the most pressing questions about successfully and safely growing citrus in the HLB-era at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center open house and field day, Nov 16.

October 2021

Open House and Field Day Planned for UF Citrus Research and Education Center November 16  - 10/13/2021
The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences citrus faculty have worked earnestly to find workable tactics for growers to use in their operations to fight Huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease.

UF/IFAS upcoming citrus events  - 10/11/2021
University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty are hosting a number of events for citrus growers in the weeks ahead. All events are free but require preregistration.

Fungal pathogen effective control for insect associated with citrus greening - 10/5/2021
The Asian citrus psyllid transmits the bacterium associated with the most serious citrus disease worldwide — and now it has a formidable enemy in a fungal pathogen.

September 2021

Citrus Nutrition Day Seminar to be Offered October 26 at UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred  - 9/21/2021
Proper nutrition for disease damaged citrus trees is critical to extending their productivity.

New UF Extension Agent in Highlands County Eager to Work with Growers  - 9/20/2021
Lourdes Pérez Cordero did not grow up in a citrus-growing family, but you wouldn’t know that after meeting her.

Newest tool to fight citrus diseases may be found in citrus microbiome - 9/2/2021
The next key to winning the battle against citrus diseases such as citrus canker may be in the tiniest microbes that live inside the citrus tree.

August 2021

Florida Citrus Production Guide and Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida  - 8/26/2021
Earlier this month, EDIS released the 2021–2022 edition of the Florida Citrus Production Guide, an annual reference guide for commercial Florida citrus growers.

UF professor recognized for a career of accomplishment  - 8/12/2021
Fred G. Gmitter, Jr., professor of horticulture and citrus breeder at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center, has been recognized as a 2021 Fellow by the American Society for Horticultural Science.

UF/IFAS scientists offer safety tips for potential dangers of drone use - 8/11/2021
Some people seem to view drones as toys, but they can be dangerous.

UF scientists use AI to try to more accurately predict citrus yield - 8/10/2021
University of Florida researchers are using artificial intelligence to help citrus growers better forecast their seasonal production.

UF/IFAS research receives $155.6 M in latest fiscal year - 8/6/2021
The University of Florida boasted its second-best research funding awards over the fiscal year 2021, with UF/IFAS researchers receiving $155.6 million of the $861 million university total.

July 2021

Back to the Future: Citrus breeders look to ancient varieties for modern-day answers  - 7/26/2021
In the ongoing race to find a solution to the devastating citrus greening disease, University of Florida scientists may find the path to the future by looking to the past.

UF/IFAS awarded 1st Ph.D. plant breeding program in Florida, one of few in USA - 7/13/2021
Working in labs and fields across Florida, a new generation of students will start earning a Ph.D. in plant breeding from the University of Florida – the first program of its kind in Florida and one of a few in the nation.

June 2021

UF/IFAS Citrus Packinghouse Day returns as in-person event for 2021  - 6/15/2021
UF/IFAS will host the annual Citrus Packinghouse Day on August 26, a free event featuring workshops and seminars for industry professionals interested in the latest information on interstate and export regulations, food safety regulations, training opportunities, postharvest fruit processing improvements, vendor exhibits and more.

May 2021

UF/IFAS research awards ceremony honors 2020 accomplishments and adaptability - 5/18/2021
About 70 faculty, staff and graduate students from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) were recognized at the 14th Annual Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Research Awards Ceremony on Friday.

Promising advancements in biocontrol treatment that slows citrus greening  - 5/13/2021
Florida citrus growers may have a new tool to help them slow the presence of citrus greening in already diseased trees.

April 2021

OJ is not only good for you, but good for all of us - 4/30/2021
While this past year of living with the global pandemic has left us with some devastating and discouraging lessons, there is one very positive outcome — Americans drank a lot more orange juice.

Ask IFAS: Information repository relaunches with new answer-focused look - 4/29/2021
Extension services primarily share scientific knowledge and expertise with the public. On the cutting edge back in 1996, UF/IFAS Extension launched a website to host a growing peer-reviewed fact sheet collection.

New educational presentations available to citrus growers - 4/26/2021
Looking for news that you can use now to improve citrus grove management?

Federal grant funds UF/IFAS soil health and citrus study - 4/24/2021
As the sole plant root biologist at UF/IFAS, my research

New chair: Christopher Gunter to lead UF horticulture programs - 4/13/2021
Christopher Gunter joins the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) as professor and chair of the horticultural sciences department. His official start date is June 7.

March 2021

Voices of UF/IFAS: Lorenzo Rossi - 3/23/2021
A team of UF/IFAS researchers is looking into how changes in soil health impact citrus and other sub-tropical tree crops.

No shutdowns here: UF/IFAS sets research publication records in 2020 - 3/23/2021
Despite facing a pandemic in 2020, UF/IFAS researchers were markedly productive, reaching new highs in the number of studies published over the calendar year. Altogether, UF/IFAS research posted 2,150 publications in 2020.

National Ag Week is March 21 through March 27, 2021 - 3/22/2021
National Ag Week is celebrated March 21 through 27.

Plant sap analysis in citrus production workshop offered to growers - 3/18/2021
Monitoring the nutrient status of a citrus grove is a critical tool in successful grove management in the citrus greening environment.

2021 Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute goes virtual - 3/17/2021
The annual Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute hosted by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Extension county citrus agents will be held on April 6.

University of Florida researchers discover new way to potentially control citrus greening - 3/16/2021
University of Florida researchers have discovered another key resource in their ongoing pursuit to find solutions to fight Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening disease.

February 2021

UF/IFAS boosts AI research to help solve perplexing issues - 2/11/2021
As UF/IFAS joins a university-wide push to increase artificial intelligence research, its faculty will help solve major problems.

University of Florida citrus nutrition consulting program deadline is February 15 - 2/10/2021
Citrus growers interested in participating in the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences citrus nutrition counseling program should register by February 15, 2021.

UF researchers answer questions about citrus fruit drop at upcoming seminar - 2/2/2021
Citrus fruit dropping before harvest has been a perennial problem for Florida growers but one that is particularly challenging during the 2020-21 growing season.

January 2021

UF scientists study how to breed faster-growing plants - 1/27/2021
More specifically, Christopher Vincent and Fred Gmitter hope to find the optimal relationship between citrus tree “sources” and “sinks” so that plant breeders can select varieties — and growers can use practices — that lead to faster-growing plants.

University of Florida citrus nutrition consulting program to continue; new participants wanted - 1/26/2021
Last year, UF/IFAS scientists offered Florida growers a unique nutritional counseling programming that provided free soil and leaf testing and tailored quarterly nutritional counseling in an effort to improve tree health for local operations.

Citrus growers tour of UF/IFAS Citrus Under Protective Screens Houses - 1/20/2021
Citrus growers from several of Florida’s production regions joined researchers recently for a field day inside 14-foot high screenhouses that protect fruit trees from an invasive insect.

December 2020

Resolutions for 2021 - 12/26/2020
So, it is time for a new year and many of us cannot see 2020 get over fast enough. It is almost time for 2021 and there is a lot to be hopeful for.

Finding Natural Biocontrols for the Asian Citrus Psyllid - 12/22/2020
Scientists have discovered new naturally occurring viruses that may be utilized to control psyllids without the use of potentially environmentally harmful insecticides in the future.

Bactericide Applications for HLB Control - 12/22/2020
In 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted an emergency exemption to Florida citrus growers, allowing them to test bactericide applications.

Finding the Cause of Bark Scaling in Florida Citrus Groves - 12/22/2020
This research has been important in ruling out certain suspected pathogens and is narrowing in on finding the true pathogens involved in this new problem.

Do Propagation Methods Impact Field Performance of Citrus Trees? - 12/22/2020
The endemic presence of HLB has forced growers to rethink many of their management practices.

Improving Citrus Plant Health from the Ground Up - 12/15/2020
At UF/IFAS, we are working on finding solutions for Florida’s citrus growers. This is a summary of one project made possible by state legislative funding for the UF/IFAS Citrus Initiative during the 2018-19 cycle.

Get to know…..Holiday Citrus - 12/11/2020
University of Florida entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock is looking to the future of her research program and needs citrus industry professionals to help her see a clear picture.

UF survey requests citrus grower input to help set research directions - 12/8/2020
University of Florida entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock is looking to the future of her research program and needs citrus industry professionals to help her see a clear picture.

What’s in store for 2021? UF/IFAS experts predict food and garden trends - 12/2/2020
No one could have predicted the kind of year 2020 has been. But in late 2019, when UF/IFAS experts were asked to predict the top food and garden trends for the coming year, they made some startlingly accurate predictions.

Today, these trends are no longer forecasts but facts of life in a year characterized by a global pandemic and a record number of hurricanes and tropical storms.

New webinar series to support citrus growers with production information - 12/2/2020
The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension citrus program is launching a webinar series of OJ Break meetings free to all Florida citrus growers to provide the latest information on grove production practices and research findings.

Relationship Between HLB and Virulence Factors and/or Plant Signaling Molecules - 12/1/2020
At UF/IFAS, we are working on finding solutions for Florida’s citrus growers. This is a summary of one project made possible by state legislative funding for the UF/IFAS Citrus Initiative during the 2018-19 cycle.

November 2020

UF flower bud advisories resume - 11/24/2020
The University of Florida will resume providing growers regular flower bud advisories as the critical time for citrus grove management begins this winter.

University of Florida citrus faculty highly sought after as research partners in fight against greening - 11/23/2020
University of Florida citrus researchers continue to be sought out as partners in ground-breaking research projects to fight Huanglongbing, also known as citrus greening disease.

Safe food production training to be available to Florida’s small and beginning farmers through new USDA grant - 11/19/2020
A new opportunity for Florida’s small and medium-sized produce farmers will become a reality with the support of a U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Outreach Program (FSOP) grant designed to produce and provide easy-to-access training in safe food production methods to underserved farmers.

October 2020

University of Florida awarded key federal grants to continue fight against citrus greening - 10/22/2020
University of Florida researchers hope to discover new methods to help citrus growers fight the deadly citrus greening (or Huanglongbing) disease with cost effective, long-term sustainable treatments with the support of recently awarded federal grants.

Citrus Advisory System alerts growers so they can stem post-bloom fruit drop - 10/22/2020
Beep. Beep. Beep. That’s the sound of the alert, telling a citrus grower it’s time to spray fungicide to help prevent fruit from falling off the tree.

UF scientists make big stride toward greening-resistant citrus trees - 10/14/2020
University of Florida scientists achieved a major milestone in their quest to develop a citrus greening-resistant tree by sequencing the genome of a fruit plant that’s a close cousin to citrus trees.

September 2020

State investment in scientific research is working - 9/17/2020
Citrus is intrinsically tied to the Floridian experience. We grow more of it than anywhere in the world.

UF researchers receive a multi-million grant to improve food safety in fresh produce - 9/17/2020
Outbreaks of foodborne diseases threaten the daily lives of millions of Americans, resulting in recalls and sometimes loss of life.

Finding Natural Sweetness Enhancers in Citrus That May Lead to Citrus Beverages with Lower Sugar Content - 9/11/2020
U.S. demand for orange juice has dropped in recent years. Many citrus growers believe it is because consumers want to limit their sugar intake, especially from fruit juices. But a new UF/IFAS project indicates science may provide a solution.

UF/IFAS faculty to use $141M in research funding to improve corn, manage citrus greening, suppress mosquito-borne diseases and more - 9/2/2020
Scientists at UF/IFAS are using this year’s allotment of $141 million in research funding to develop better sweet corn, improve cow-calf breeding, make further progress toward controlling citrus greening disease and more.

August 2020

2020-2021 UF/IFAS citrus production guide available - 8/24/2020
While the coronavirus pandemic has changed much of the University of Florida citrus programming, one annual tradition continues, albeit with some changes.

Why does fruit drop prematurely? - 8/20/2020
Researchers found that fruit from severely HLB-symptomatic trees drop significantly more than mildly symptomatic trees.

UF researcher earns national recognition early in her career - 8/19/2020
She’s early in her career, but Yu Wang, a University of Florida food scientist, is making great strides in her research.

New UF/IFAS website helps consumers understand importance of plant breeding program - 8/13/2020
Peruse the produce section of a grocery store and you can find citrus, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, sugarcane, corn and lettuce developed by UF/IFAS researchers.

UF professor earns national award for innovative research - 8/12/2020
Researcher. Scholar. Change agent. Nian Wang, a professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, has been recognized for all of these roles by the American Phytopathological Society (APS) at its 2020 annual meeting.

July 2020

Nutrient Management of HLB Affected Round Orange and Grapefruit - 7/29/2020
At UF/IFAS, we are working on finding solutions for Florida's citrus growers. This is a summary of one project
made possible by state

Ben Hill Griffin III, supporter of UF/IFAS, higher education and communities, passes at 78 - 7/27/2020
The name Ben Hill Griffin has resonated through the agriculture, citrus and higher education sectors of Florida for generations, and Ben Hill Griffin III carried that torch with commitment and leadership.

Generating HLB-Resistant Citrus Using Gene Editing - 7/21/2020
At UF/IFAS, we are working on finding solutions for Florida’s citrus growers.

Florida’s citrus growers have new tool to help fight citrus greening - 7/21/2020
If information is power, Florida citrus growers have a new asset in their fight against citrus greening disease, which has been impacting the state’s multi-billion dollar citrus industry.

UF/IFAS experts outline hurricane prep, recovery for citrus growers - 7/16/2020
Like all farmers, Florida’s citrus producers must prepare for the worst before a hurricane strikes.

UF/IFAS needs grower input to better train agricultural workers - 7/8/2020
The COVID-19 crisis has hit Florida’s agricultural industry hard with new challenges on how to protect workers who are essential to keeping our nation’s food supply flowing.

June 2020

UF professor earns award from UF/IFAS Extension peers - 6/18/2020
Water is essential to Florida farmers. They scrutinize the amount available, its quality and when and how they should use it to grow crops, feed animals and sustain their livelihood.

Citrus Growers Can Now Earn CEUs On-line - 6/11/2020
When the annual 2020 Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute was canceled due to the stay at home guidelines recommended by the state, growers were shut out of learning the latest research updates from University of Florida citrus scientists.

UF/IFAS Extension agents working together to better serve citrus growers - 6/2/2020
Florida’s citrus growers have long benefited from productive relationships with UF/IFAS Extension commercial citrus agents who work in central and Southwest Florida.

May 2020

In COVID-19 era, UF/IFAS research adapts - 5/28/2020
As Florida moved to “safer at home” measures, not all work could be put on pause. When it came to University of Florida research, many

UF/IFAS researchers try to reduce fruit drop, increase yield in Valencia, Hamlin oranges - 5/27/2020
UF/IFAS citrus scientists Tripti Vashisth and Fernando Alferez are trying to reduce the amount of fruit that drops from Hamlin and Valencia

Subscribe to the UF/IFAS CREC Blog! Get the latest news FAST - 5/20/2020 
The University of Florida IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center has a new way for you to receive the latest news from our researchers

Lessons Learned While Conducting Rootstock Field Trials - 5/20/2020
The University of Florida [UF] Citrus Research and Education Center [CREC] Plant Improvement Team has long been engaged in field research to evaluate new scions and rootstocks. That effort continues and has involved trials on public and private property. While public sites are valuable, they are limited in number.

Coming attraction: Florida finger limes could be a new addition to your grocery citrus aisle - 5/13/2020
Sweet oranges. Ruby red grapefruit. Sugar Belle mandarins. When one thinks of Florida citrus, these

UF/IFAS scientist uses work lessons to succeed in new home working environment - 5/7/2020
University of Florida scientist Christopher Vincent is used to working with the unknown to learn new grove management practices. As a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences plant physiologist, Vincent works to discover how citrus trees can thrive under stressful conditions.

University of Florida researchers find promising new treatment in fight to beat citrus greening - 5/6/2020
University of Florida researchers have discovered another possible solution to the plague of citrus greening that is impacting Florida’s citrus groves.  This new information adds to the growing portfolio of knowledge that UF scientists are amassing to fight the disease.

March 2020

UF/IFAS professor receives recognition for early career excellence - 3/26/2020
One of the University of Florida’s most promising professors has been nationally recognized as an industry leader for her scholarship and service. Lauren Diepenbrock, an assistant professor of entomology working at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center recently received the 2019 Southern Region Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center Friends of IPM – Future Leader Award.

Even in times of crisis, UF/IFAS researchers prevail - 3/20/2020
The coronavirus has upended daily routines, events and schedules. From work to schools to shopping, every aspect of life changed overnight and continues to change with each passing day.

UF/IFAS scientists find viruses that might help control insect that causes citrus greening - 3/5/2020
University of Florida scientists are working toward establishing a new biological method that may help farmers control the insect that transmits the deadly greening disease into citrus trees. Greening is present in about 95 percent of the citrus trees in Florida, so by using a virus that may kill the insect, growers may be able to reduce the need for pesticides.

February 2020

Citrus Nutrition Box Program yielding results - 2/27/2020
A recent program encouraging Florida citrus growers to learn more about the nutrient management of their groves is yielding promising results.

New Extension agent builds on legacy of those before her - 2/18/2020
When you meet Ajia Paolillo, you might think that everything old is new again.

January 2020

Oak trees may hold antibacterial to help infected citrus trees - 1/21/2020
Wise old oak trees may hold an extract that citrus growers can use to protect their fruit trees from the deadliest citrus crop disease the world has known.