Understand the basic ins and out of having a UF/IFAS Rootstock Trial being conducted in your citrus grove.

A UF/IFAS Rootstock Trial can take place at public sites or in cooperation with citrus growers. According to the UF/IFAS Tip of the Week and accompanying Citrus Industry article, Florida citrus growers sometimes have ideas that are “out of the box” concerning trials they’d like to see in their groves. No matter how a citrus grove owner comes to participate in a rootstock trial on their property, the Tip of the Week shares what is to be expected. See the details below.

A Look at a UF/IFAS Rootstock Trial

According to the article, during the beginning of the project, growers can expect “Meeting with the cooperator as often as needed to convey and agree on the plan and the contributions of each partner” which “helps reduce misunderstandings later.” Those meetings will focus on “dates, who pays for what, harvesting, access, fruit income, field days and a host of other things covered in the UF Material Transfer Agreement to protect intellectual property.”

The plant improvement team has three investigators, “each having their own sources of new rootstocks,” according to the article. Communication is key.

According to the article, “the UF/IFAS rootstock pipeline has three levels of assessment. Periodically, introduced rootstocks and those from the breeding program are assembled, propagated and set out in a screening trial for their initial evaluation, often at one location. When sufficient data are collected to reveal those rootstocks best suited for the next level of testing, usually smaller trials are planted, possibly each with a different scion and at two or three locations. Next, the “winners” are put into advanced trials that involve primarily larger, more grove-like plot sizes (20 to 100 trees) and fewer replicates.”

Growers can also access their website: https://crec.ifas.ufl.edu/citrus-research/rootstock-field-data/ to find “user-friendly access to collective decades of UF/IFAS rootstock trial data.”

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.