Earlier this month, I sent a couple of our Plant Clinic personnel to Florida with a group of AgriLife Extension county agents and specialists to tour some areas that has been affected by the disease, Citrus Greening. This visit also allowed them to interact with researchers, extension personnel and growers in Florida, and also interact with our own AgriLife Extension county agents. I charged both of them to submit a narrative report which is posted below with photos. The ultimate purpose of this trip is the continuing education of the Plant Clinic personnel. In order for us to better serve the people of Texas, it is important that we know, understand and are prepared for “hot” topics. It is also a reminder for all of us that there is always something new to learn and knowledge is useful!
Narrative and photos by L. Farris (TPDDL technician) and M. Giesbrecht (Extension Assistant)
Earlier this month, we were sent to Ft. Myers, Florida to observe citrus diseases in the field and learn about ongoing research projects and current management practices for disease control. The primary focus was Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening, a disease that was introduced into Texas in January of this year. The trip was hosted by extension scientists at the University of Florida’s Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC).
These scientists described their ongoing experiments with HLB and results to date and explained how they use this information to make management recommendations to commercial growers. We also had the opportunity to tour privately-owned groves. These groves perfectly displayed the results of owners who took immediate action to fight the disease and those who let it spread unabatedly.
There is no comparison between looking at pictures or reading descriptions of symptoms and actually seeing them up close in the field. This experience will aid us in choosing samples to test for citrus greening and has greatly increased their knowledge of HLB management.