Entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock is seeking Florida citrus growers’ help in determining information gaps and future directions for her research on pests. To get that help, she’s asking growers to participate in a survey, which is available here.
Diepenbrock, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher, would like to have growers take the survey by March 31, 2021. The survey should take 15 minutes or less to complete. The anonymous survey begins with questions about what counties growers farm in, what varieties they are growing, and the pests that have been problems for them during various times in the past. It also asks about insecticide and miticide use history with relation to Asian citrus psyllid establishment and frequency of sprays. In addition, the survey aims to determine what growers believe are the top five priorities for pest management research.
“Since arriving at the CREC (Citrus Research and Education Center) in 2018, I have had the pleasure of interacting with many of you,” Diepenbrock states. “From these interactions and reading through my predecessors’ work, I’ve come to realize that we have some large gaps in information which we need to better understand changes over the past two decades of insect and mite management in citrus.”
“I just hope that people will take the time to provide this information,” Diepenbrock says. “I want to both do research that is interesting to me and to meet the needs of our growers.”
Asked what pests already concern her, Diepenbrock responds, “Well this is part of what I want to learn. Obviously ACP (Asian citrus psyllid), CLM (citrus leafminer) and lebbeck mealybugs come up a lot, but we’ve seen some pests popping up that haven’t been problematic for decades, like woolly whitefly. So I’m hoping to learn if these are a huge concern for growers or not.”
“Grower information is critical to identify the information gaps and help determine future directions of research in my program,” Diepenbrock adds. “My goal is to always provide useful, research-driven data to our growers, and their input enables this.”
She plans to share the survey results in future webinars and industry publications.