Florida Citrus Show Success

Despite the recent freezes as well as the ever-present pest-and-disease hurdles that face Florida citrus growers, the mood was noticeably upbeat and optimistic at the 2011 Florida Citrus Show. Held Jan. 19-20 at the Havert L. Fenn Center in Ft. Pierce, the event reached out and drew nearly 600 citrus industry professionals from across the state and beyond.

The annual event, presented by Florida Grower, UF/IFAS, and the Indian River Citrus League, featured an educational agenda that covered the gamut of hot-button issues for the industry. In particular, sessions on CHMAs, GAPs, water issues, and citrus black spot all were well attended. However, it was the new research findings regarding the use of foliar nutrition for improved tree health that created a buzz among the crowd. The “picture is worth a thousand words” approach was used to demonstrate findings during Bob Rouse’s (UF/IFAS) presentation on this topic. The data suggesting the effectiveness of nutrition on plant health and productivity continues to churn the waters regarding the preferred methods of HLB management.

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As a complement to the educational component of the event, the Florida Citrus Show provided a networking platform to share information, catch up with peers, and gather insight from industry suppliers. More than 80 industry exhibitors displayed products, literature, and equipment inside the tradeshow hall. UF/IFAS citrus breeders also were on hand to hand out and talk about some of the new, juicy varieties that may be coming down the pike.

Frank Giles, Florida Grower’s editor, says the event – overall — was a success. “It’s good to see growers, researchers, and suppliers connecting on issues of the day. The camaraderie and cooperation rooted in this industry is what helps it sustain in tough times and flourish during the good. That feeling was on full display at this year’s show.”

Gerry Bogdon, Florida Grower’s associate publisher, agrees. “The feedback from attendees as well as suppliers has been positive. We appreciate the input and are looking forward to further enhancing the Show next year and taking it to another level.”

For more information about the Florida Citrus Show, visit CitrusShow.com.