A UF/IFAS Tip of the Week article shared options for building resilience in Hamlins to improve production.

A UF/IFAS Tip of the Week article maintained that “The Hamlin sweet orange variety is known for higher susceptibility to HLB symptoms which cause rapid tree decline, including increased pre-harvest fruit drop and canopy loss,” and that “weather disasters like freezes and hurricanes [are] leaving growers with little options for sustaining yields.” The article shared options for building resilience in Hamlins to keep production going in the face of citrus greening and weather disasters like hurricanes and freezes. Explore the details below.

Building Resilience in Hamlins

The article shared that plant growth regulators (PGRs) are a solid option for building resilience in Hamlins to weather citrus greening and weather disasters. The article shared that “Canopy health has been shown to be directly related to HLB disease severity, pre-harvest fruit drop and fruit production. The use of select plant growth regulators (PGRs), such as gibberellic acid (GA) and 2,4-D (a synthetic auxin), has been shown to improve the production of HLB-affected citrus and is a tool that growers can utilize immediately,” and that “PGRs have also been shown to improve durability of Hamlin in the wake of inclement weather such as hurricanes.”

Research from field trials backing up these claims include:

  • “Two weeks after a freeze hit Hardee County in February of 2022, canopy density was measured in an experimental trial. Trees receiving GA lost an average of 4% of their canopy. Untreated control trees (UTCs) lost an average of 17% of their canopy…”
  • “Yield results from year one of the study showed that GA-treated trees retained an average of 34.4 pounds more fruit than UTCs. In year two, after Hurricane Ian impacted both sites, the GA-treated trees still retained an average of 50 pounds more fruit per tree than the UTCs.
  • “As a hurricane recovery measure, 2,4-D was applied to a subset of GA-treated trees in Ona, Florida, two weeks after Hurricane Ian. The treated trees retained 33.3 pounds more fruit per tree than the UTCs at harvest. Significant improvements in canopy density of the GA-treated trees are also evident at both sites…”

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