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Winter prebloom foliar spray application of low Biuret urea is known to greatly increase flower number, thus greater crop yield.  Proper timing is important to achieve the desired outcome.  Winter prebloom sprays are designed to increase flower number and fruit yield without reducing fruit size. Winter prebloom foliar sprays with low biuret urea (46-0-0 >0.5% biuret) is applied at the rate of .44-lbs. (200-grams) in 2 gallon of water plus one teaspoon of a good surfactant per gallon.. For large area sprays (acres) 50-lbs. per 225 gallons water. NOTE: a second low biuret urea foliar spray should also be done after early fruit drop and June drop periods to insure an  increase in fruit size.  In most areas  this would be around July 1 to July 20.

Citrus General Discussion / UCR Variety Collection To Go CUPS
« on: December 31, 2017, 10:04:14 PM »

The recent discovery of three Huanglongbing (HLB)-infected trees in Riverside approximately 2.25 miles from UCR and the
pervasive spread of Asian Citrus Psyllids (ACP), which moves the bacteria that causes HLB,
crystalized the need for further protection of the UCR Citrus Variety Collection.

The 1038 cultivars and species of citrus and related genera in the field site of the Citrus Variety Collection is one of the most diverse 
collections of citrus and related genera in the world. Two additional small trees of each cultivar and species are have been housed  in aging screened greenhouses at UCR Agricultural Operations or at the USDA NCGRCD since 2008. If we need to remove HLB infected trees from the field collection in the future, this would significantly affect our ability to breed new cultivars and conduct research that utilizes this diversity.
This disease has created a critical need for a two-phase project to protect the Citrus Variety Collection. Your donation of any amount will help protect the collection.


UC Riverside’s College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS) has secured funding for
the initial site study design and bid process, both of which are required by public universities.
Additional financial support from generous individual donors will allow us to complete a full site study for a three-acre parcel

A site development for an initial one-acre parcel and required storage
Installation of two Citrus Under Protection (CUP) Systems that would screen and protect up to an acre of newly planted trees of all
cultivars and species in the collection from registered budwood and grown in the ground. With immediate funding, the CUPS system could protect the Collection as early as July 2018.


Site development for two additional acres of property, upon which we plan to construct one or two new Research/Instructional Screenhouses / Greenhouses covering up to two acres and potentially adding an additional Equipment Storage / Outbuilding. These structures will provide more robust protection for the Collection, making it a more permanently safeguarded presence at UC Riverside.

See UCR Citrus Variety Internet web site  for full details.

Citrus General Discussion / Greenhouse Air & Heat Dispersion
« on: December 24, 2017, 04:33:15 PM »
My greenhouse is 32 feet wide, 72 feet long and 11.5 feet high.  To insure equal dispersion of heat and air movement to all sections of the greenhouse, I use fans.  Because heat raises there are three 20-inch fans hanging from the ceiling 10 feet from each end and one in the middle of the greenhouse to blow the heat back down to the plants.  Additionally, three 20 inch fans are setting three feet above the floor moving air horizontally around the greenhouse.   The ceiling fans perform twp functions.  First, as stated they move air from the roof back down to the level of the plants, and second they reduce the temperature differential between the inside ceiling covering and the outside cold air.  The greater the differential between the two, the faster heat is lost to the outside.  By blowing the hot air back down to the floor, the heat gradient is reduces and therefore less heat is lost.         

Citrus General Discussion / Citrus Scab Found In Alabama
« on: December 21, 2017, 03:44:39 PM »
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has confirmed the first detection of sweet orange scab in Baldwin County, Alabama. The fruit sample was collected by Alabama Department of Agriculture inspectors during a survey for citrus greening disease

Citrus General Discussion / HLB Getting Worse in California
« on: December 19, 2017, 11:46:07 AM »
This time it was 61 trees found with the deadly HLB disease, not the usual 2 or 3 trees as in the past finds.

Citrus General Discussion / HLB In California Backyards
« on: December 15, 2017, 11:31:10 AM »
Citrus Greening (HLB) has been spotted in about 250 backyard trees in Southern California, but so far California’s commercial orchards have been spared. Researchers are hard at work to keep it that way.

Citrus General Discussion / Must Be A Reverse Sport
« on: December 07, 2017, 03:15:32 PM »
Again this year the same branch on my Cara Cara tree is producing Washington Navel Oranges.  Last year I noticed that branch was not producing pink fleshed Cara Cara, but rather the regular orange colored fruit.  This year since the same branch is once again producing fruit with  orange colored flesh that branch must have surely revered back to a Washington navel.   For those that don't know, Cara Cara were originally a sport of a Washington Navel orange tree growing in Venezuela.

that transmits citrus greening disease, a development expected to help farmers control a plague that has destroyed trees in growing regions of Brazil and the United States.

The scientific breakthrough, shared with Reuters exclusively on Tuesday, is the result of six years of research on Diaphorina citri, the vector of citrus greening disease.

The molecule was discovered by Fundo de Defesa da Citricultura (Fundecitrus), a research center sponsored by farmers and orange juice producers in Brazil, in partnership with the University of California, Davis and the University of Sao Paulo's Agricultural College, known as Esalq.

The next step will be to synthesize the pheromone from the molecule and create a product that will work as a kind of trap to attract and neutralize the insect. Then scientists hope to reduce the spread of a disease that resulted, since 2005, in the destruction of almost half of Brazil's current orange tree area.

"This will not cure greening disease, but it will allow us to work in an intelligent and assertive way against the insect," Juliano Ayres, general manager at Fundecitrus, said in a telephone interview.

The first commercial solution should be available to farmers in a year, said Walter Leal, the Brazilian researcher representing UC Davis who participated in the interview.

Citrus General Discussion / If You Live In California
« on: December 05, 2017, 04:24:57 PM »
Sky Valley HEIRLOOM Navel Oranges season is beginning. The limited offering of this premium citrus will begin shipping next week, and is expected to last into March. The older a citrus tree gets, generally the better tasting citrus they produce. The limited crop of this heirloom variety was originally PLANTED IN THE 1930s, (trees are now 85 years old) and is now harvested from a single ranch for the duration of the season, ensuring consistent flavor and quality. Sky Valley Heirloom Navel Oranges TRULY represent quality over quantity and are unmatched in the citrus category as the only citrus grower that supplies heirloom navels from a single ranch, meaning retailers never have to worry about mixed results during the season; Sky Valley Heirloom Navels taste as great at the end of the season as they do at the beginning.

Citrus General Discussion / How Many Trees Per Acre Needed To Make A Profit
« on: December 04, 2017, 09:23:37 PM »
At economic seminar on Nov. 30 agreed that low-density citrus plantings would likely be hazardous to growers’ financial health in the face of HLB. One also reported that the average grower is not making a profit, and that small growers are exiting the industry faster than larger growers. “We were looking into different tree densities: 145 trees to the acre, 220 trees to the acre and 303 trees to the acre,” says Ariel Singerman, economist with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). “We considered different scenarios for yield: low and high, and different scenarios for prices: low, medium and high. And basically what we found is that you don’t make any money when you have 145 trees to the acre and you have a low-yield scenario” which the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reports is the average in Florida groves. “You need to have at least 15 percent over that (average yield), and even then you have a modest return” with 145 trees per acre, Singerman says. Even at 220 and 303 trees per acre, it takes a while for growers to break even on their investments, under Singerman’s economic analysis. “Even the best-case scenario takes about 10 years just to bre ak even,” Singerman says. The economist acknowledges that many growers are uncertain they can get 10 years of production out of a tree in the face of HLB.  Economist Tom Spreen, UF/IFAS professor emeritus, agreed with Singerman that growers can’t be profitable planting 145 trees per acre. He said growers likely need to plant more than 200 trees to the acre to be profitable. Singerman says Florida citrus growers now are losing money, on average. “If we take the average yield for the state and the average price of (oranges) … the grower is not making money currently and has not been making money for the past few seasons,” he says.
Citrus Industry News

Citrus General Discussion / Cleaned Up Cara Cara
« on: November 29, 2017, 09:58:50 PM »
Today I cleaned up a 11-ft X 11-ft, in ground Cara Cara navel.  First, I cut out all the small dead twigs. Second, removed all branches that were occupying the same aerial space as another branch.  Third, opened up the middle of the tree to let more sunlight reach the interior. Fourth, I sprayed the entire tree with Ultra Pure horticultural oil and a little Tween-20 surfactant. Tomorrow the tree will get a deep watering. Lastly, 30 days before expected bloom (mid to late January) the tree will be foliar sprayed with urea to supply the extra energy required by the blooms for a good fruit set. 

Citrus General Discussion / Survey Results Streptomycin And Oxytetracycline
« on: November 29, 2017, 11:42:51 AM »
There was big hopes that  streptomycin and oxytetracycline which is frequently used with human diseases, would prove to work as well in citrus to fight HLB (citrus greening). Here are the results after approximately a year worth of use of the two bactericides to prevent/kill HLB........ 49 percent of growers said it did nothing to increase crop yields.  21 % of growers reported that they did not know if it actually helped. 30% of growers said it increased yields, but they had no control to compare.

Citrus General Discussion / Maybe A New Root Stock?
« on: November 26, 2017, 09:57:53 PM »
Tests are underway in Australia to use finger lime as a rootstock for citrus, as it is highly resistant to Phytophthora citrophthora root disease. Recent U.S. Department of Agriculture research in Fort Pierce, Florida, revealed HLB resistance in finger limes

The Agriculture Department is expected to allow Florida citrus growers to start using a genetically engineered Tristeza virus to protect trees from citrus greening disease in early 2019. USDA is planning to issue a statewide permit once the virus is ready, likely in January 2019.

 Next year's expo will be held in Valdosta, Georgia. Normally citrus trees of all varieties are available at the Expos, but due to the Citrus Greening quarantine, attendees could only purchase a tree that would stay within the state of Georgia.  No trees could be removed outside the quarantine area.  Had a great time and met many old friends.

Citrus General Discussion / Warm Water For Winter Greenhouse Irrigation
« on: November 10, 2017, 08:04:58 PM »
I collect rain/snow water off of two large barns into one hundred 55-gallon open top drums.  At this time of year the collected water is quite cold, some mornings even a little ice. I  painted ten 3.5 gallon plastic pales black, which I fill with the rain water each morning, and set them inside the greenhouse flush against the inside south wall of the greenhouse to absorb the sun's light heating the water.  By noon on sunny days the water is 70 - 80-F. which I then use to water the 10 container tomatoes. citrus trees, pineapples and other plants.  This gives me 35 gallons of warm water every day.

Citrus General Discussion / What's New With Florida Citrus Future
« on: October 27, 2017, 09:36:57 PM »
Resistant scions (to HLB) produced via gene editing could reach growers sooner than transgenic varieties (HMO), Rogers said, because less government approval is needed to launch commercial production of crops developed with gene editing. Unlike transgenic processes, gene editing does not involve the transfer of genes from one organism to another. Instead, this technology “shuts off” genes that would otherwise render a citrus tree vulnerable to disease.

Taken from Michael Rogers Citrus Research & Education Center

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