The UF/IFAS Tip of the Week maintains that rootstock field trials in Florida citrus benefit from consistency.

The UF/IFAS Tip of the Week shared information on all of the current rootstock field trials currently underway in the Florida citrus industry. Bill Castle, an emeritus professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred, shared insights on rootstock trials in the Tip of the Week article. See the details below.

Consistency in Rootstock Field Trials

Castle maintained that Florida Rootstock Field Trials are operating under unique circumstances, including:

  1. “There is an unprecedented number of them underway or soon to be planted. The sponsors are many, including the University of Florida, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Citrus Research and Development Foundation, Citrus Research and Field Trial Foundation and the Multi-Agency Coordination Group. Thus, the field has literally become quite crowded.”
  2. “The interest in a closer examination of all trial data has increased.”
  3. “Endemic field conditions such as HLB, ownership changes and development have made it more challenging to conduct a trial long enough to collect useful data.”

Since so many different rootstocks are being utilized, it is difficult to evaluate one rootstock against another when factors such as different site conditions. Castle maintained that it’s best to evaluate how a rootstock performs with consistency across all of the rootstock trials.

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