CUPS Research for citrus is on-going; see some of the latest developments for growing Citrus Under Protective Screens.

Growing Citrus Under Protective Screens, or CUPS, has the eyes of the vast majority of Florida citrus growers looking for solutions in the fight against citrus greening. The concept of growing citrus under screens has been on-going for a few years now, and CUPS research for citrus is a focus of many researchers and growers alike. Rhuanito (Johnny) Ferrarezi summarized CUPS research reported by his students at Florida State Horticultural Society meeting in June, in a Citrus Industry article. See the details below.

Takeaways on CUPS Research for Citrus

The research is being conducted with grapefruit at the Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC). Here are the main points from the research thus far:

  1. Asian citrus psyllid (ASP) breaches don’t necessarily equal citrus greening infection. Psyllids got into the IRREC CUPS due to damage caused by Hurricane Irma in 2017. However, the area was sprayed and no trees test positive for citrus greening. “Having perhaps an outbreak (of psyllids) caused by the screen rupture might not compromise the entire investment. So that’s a pretty good outcome,” he said.
  2. The internal environment within the CUPS structure is different. Factors such as temperature, humidity and light are different than conditions in a conventional grove. “We are trying to keep track of all that information in order to adjust the irrigation recommendations for protecting the environment,” Ferrarezi said.
  3. CUPS promote both increased yield and fruit quality. According to the article, grapefruit on US-897 rootstock is yielding approximately 580 boxes per acre. “That’s a great result,” he maintained in the article, adding that “We’ve been seeing that the yield can be maintained over time.”

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.