2019-11_18-037C – Performance of newly released grapefruit cultivars and rootstocks in the Indian River Citrus District

Performance of newly released grapefruit cultivars and rootstocks in the Indian River Citrus District

Report Date: 12/14/2019
Project: 18-037C   Year: 2019
Category: Plant Improvement
Author: Rhuanito Ferrarezi
Sponsor: Citrus Research and Development Foundation, Inc.

Field variety trials are a simple but effective tool to test plant horticultural performance under different environmental conditions and enhance the commercial adoption of new cultivars. Large-scale, rapid implementation of HLB-tolerant cultivars depends on reliable data, and the Millennium Block project is addressing the need of establishing field plantings to generate regional, updated information for the Indian River Citrus District. The project has mainly two objectives: (i) Assess performance of new grapefruit cultivars with certain rootstocks under HLB endemic conditions in the IR district and (ii) ) Evaluate the influence of UFR and other recent rootstocks on grapefruit, navel, and mandarin in the IR in comparison to legacy or standard rootstocks. We are in the process of planting four independent studies at the UF/IFAS IRREC. This report is mainly related to the grove planting operations and initial tree care since the study was just implemented. We planted approximately 3,600 trees and are awaiting for the remaining trees to become available from the nursery. Slow release poly coated fertilizer applied and tree wraps added. We installed the irrigation controller and activated field valves making irrigation system automation fully operable. Sand media filtration and water meter were purchased and delivered. Installation will be performed soon. We applied imidacloprid to prevent leaf minor and psillids. The grove has been continuously scouted for pests such as orange dogs and ants. Hoop boom was modified to spray young trees with higher accuracy, reducing the waste of agrochemical products. We created a tree location map and began production and distribution of QR tags to be used with scanner codes during data collection in the field. The group met with the certified crop advisor to develop a spray program schedule based on time of year and conditions to be applied as determined by IPM scouting. Masters student was selected, interviewed and hired; start date Jan/2020.

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