A UF/IFAS researcher maintained that the likelihood for postbloom fruit drop to rear its ugly head as Florida rains increase in the forecast.

UF/IFAS plant pathologist Megan Dewdney advised Florida citrus growers to keep an eye on rain forecasts and to stay vigilant about searching their groves for signs of postbloom fruit drop, or PFD. Dewdney addressed Florida citrus growers in mid-January, maintaining that PFD season was fast approaching, according to a Citrus Industry article. See her words and recommendations below.

Detecting and Dealing With Postbloom Fruit Drop

“Postbloom fruit drop (PFD) season is coming upon us fairly quickly,” Dewdney said in the article. “Growers should be planning on keeping an eye on the rain forecast … how much bloom they are having now, how much bloom they’ll have in two (to) three weeks, and keeping an eye on whether they see any infection if we get rain during that period of time.”

The fungus that is responsible for PFD is transferred by rainwater splashing from one bloom to the next. It causes young fruit to fall from the tree too early, severely affecting citrus harvests. In the age of citrus greening and increased inputs, Florida citrus growers are struggling to produce citrus harvests that are profitable. PFD can significantly reduce citrus harvests and thus profits. Experts believe increased rain forecasts for The Sunshine State could lead to increased breakouts of PFD.

Dewdney recommended a course of treatment and cautioned against inaction. “Probably the best products that we’ve tested so far have been the strobilurin fungicides mixed with ferbam … Doing nothing for PFD is probably your worst option,” she maintained in the article.

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.