Citrus Advisory System Alerts Growers So They Can Stem Post-bloom Fruit Drop
Central Florida Ag News|November 2020
BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. That’s the sound of the alert, telling a citrus grower it’s time to spray fungicide to help prevent fruit from falling off the tree. When the brand-new fruit fall off the trees, post-bloom fruit drop (PFD), as it’s called, can cause major losses for citrus growers.
BRAD BUCK

Infection of flowering citrus by the fungus that causes PFD can lead to crop loss of up to 80%, although losses are seldom that high, UF/IFAS researchers say.

In the battle against PFD, UF/IFAS scientists have developed the Citrus Advisory System (CAS), which sends web-based alerts to citrus farmers via mobile devices. That way, growers can tell when to spray their trees with fungicide.

“We believe that CAS represents an important contribution to help the citrus industry in Florida increase resource-use efficiency, reduce costs and increase profitability,” said Clyde Fraisse, a UF/IFAS professor of agricultural and biological engineering at the main campus in Gainesville, who led new research to develop and test the system.

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