Thermotherapy Field Day, July 9
Whitaker Groves, Grand Island, Florida
Jef Whitaker, owner and host of the event
With 50 growers in attendance, Dr. Reza Ehsani provided a demonstration of the University of Florida citrus tree steamer unit and a brief update on the research currently being done with tree steaming in an effort to control HLB in citrus trees. Growers got to see the machine in operation, most for the first time, as this is a newly developing process. Dr. Ehsani said at this time, they are working with steaming trees at approximately 130° F for 30 seconds in order to reduce HLB. Multiple tree-steaming study sites are now in progress in various groves around the state to study the effectiveness of this treatment. A follow-up field day is going to be planned for the beginning of 2016 for an update on the research. Many of the growers in attendance are very interested to see how the steamed trees hold their fruit come harvest time in a few months. To get an in-depth explanation of this process, be sure to catch Dr. Ehsani’s presentation at the 2015 Citrus Expo, where he will be speaking at length on this new research.