See the highlights from the informational seminars that were given at the Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo by UF/IFAS experts.

Events like the Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo are an informational boon for those in the Florida ag industry. One of the most beneficial components of such events are the informational sessions where experts like those from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). The Expo included a host of information on the latest in research in its seminar program, and a Specialty Crop Industry article shared the highlights. See them below.

Informational Seminars at the Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo

Some of the areas that the seminars at the Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo focused on were pest problems, weeds, and alternative crops. Highlights include:

  • Florida growers need to look out for guava root-knot nematodes. According to the article, “Nematodes are microscopic worm-like pests that have a wide host range. Guava root-knot nematode is considered more aggressive and will reproduce faster than other nematode species. It can affect all vegetables.”
  • It’s important to scout early for whiteflies and apply early chemical treatments. According to the article, Jawwad Qureshi, a UF/IFAS entomologist, said, ““Whiteflies are an important pest. We see them in both seasons, during the spring and fall. It’s important to start treating early in the season. It’s critical to monitor and start early in the season and try to get some of those materials and treatments into the plants.”
  • Whiteflies spread cucurbit leaf crumple virus and cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus.
  • Timely applications of herbicides are essential to keep weeds from competing for inputs. UF/IFAS weed scientist Ramdas Kanissery said, “The timing of the application is the key. In the row middles, we need to apply early. If pre-emergent herbicides are applied too late, the weed germination has already happened and then it’s a waste of money. We have to apply it when the soil is really clean. When the weeds come up, they’re going to produce more seeds. It’s a ticking time bomb.”
  • Alternative crops like passion fruit, lychee, and avocado are highly sensitive to cold weather, flooding, and pests like the erinose mite.
  • Artichoke can be a good alternative crop, but challenges must be met, such as expanding the harvest window. Shinsuke Agehara, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of horticulture, said, “I know that we can produce artichoke. We have to come up with an optimum application protocol, and then also we have to modify crop management practices.

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.