March means spring break for many, and Florida is a favorite destination for students looking to celebrate the time off. Michael Rogers, director of the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, took the occasion to shine the light on the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus graduate program. Sixty-five students are currently engaged in graduate studies as they learn to be future leaders in citrus science and business. According to Rogers, while they are learning, they also are providing a valuable contribution to current research that has material benefits to citrus growers.
John Chater, assistant professor of horticultural sciences, recently joined the UF/IFAS citrus team to help growers evaluate the many new rootstocks and scions being developed by plant breeders. Chater joined the podcast to talk about his background and new job duties with UF/IFAS. In addition, he spoke about the varieties that have caught his attention in Florida.
On April 5, the Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute will take place in Avon Park. Florida’s citrus Extension agents help organize the event. Ajia Paolillo, an agent based in Arcadia, joined the podcast to discuss the program. HLB, fruit drop and plant nutrition are just a few of the topics that will be covered in the educational sessions. She said the agents are particularly excited to finally be hosting the event in person again after COVID-19 forced the event to go digital during the pandemic.
The All In For Citrus podcast is a joint project of UF/IFAS and AgNet Media. Listen to the March episode here.