We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Fighting Back Against Citrus Greening
As with most crops, nasty diseases take their toll in production. We
have here a key problem with orange production and learn to what
extent it is possible to continuing the harvest of affected trees.
Pretty well it turns out although production itself is curtailed. At
some point the tree itself will still come out early.
This impacts the citrus trade and will be a problem for years to
come. The result will be an underlying taste of bitterness in
processed orange juice. That may have to be neutralized if it can
be. If I recall correctly it has been done in other cases.
Perhaps there is an opportunity for resistant varieties and farm
based processing for a high quality product. We know the market will
pay for top end quality that can be farm labeled.
Against Citrus Greening
by Dennis O'Brien
for USDA News
Fort Pierce FL
(SPX) Feb 04, 2013
Oranges from trees
infected with Huanglongbing (citrus greening) can be used for orange
juice as long as they are mixed with other oranges, according to new
U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) scientists in Fort Pierce, Fla. are helping citrus
growers and juice processors address the threat posed by
Huanglongbing (HLB), a disease that is costing the citrus industry
millions of dollars each year.
Citrus trees infected
with HLB, also called citrus greening, usually die within five to 10
years. Fruit on infected trees often falls to the ground before
harvest, and fruit that remains on trees may become misshapen and
sometimes only partially ripen.
horticulturalist Elizabeth Baldwin with USDA's Agricultural Research
Service (ARS) in Fort Pierce is investigating the effects of HLB on
the taste of orange juice produced from diseased trees. Her goal is
to provide help while a permanent solution is found.
She and her colleagues
at the agency's U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory evaluated
fruit with or without HLB symptoms-produced over two growing
seasons-for a number of fruit and juice characteristics.
Midsweet, Hamlin, and Valencia oranges, the three principal varieties
harvested for processing, and used gas and liquid chromatography to
analyze juice compounds.
They found that orange
juice from the fruit with HLB symptoms was often higher in limonin
and nomilin, compounds that can give the juice a bitter taste, but
that the compounds were generally below levels that could be detected
by human taste panels. Their results were published in the Journal of
Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
In another study, they
investigated how HLB infection affects juice quality in the same
three varieties of orange with respect to cultivar, maturity, and
The results showed
tremendous variability, depending on the harvest date and variety of
orange. In general, the researchers found more of a problem with
off-flavored juice from diseased Hamlin orange trees than with
diseased trees of the Valencia and Midsweet varieties.
But the researchers
concluded that using some fruit that has HLB symptoms would not cause
problems in commercial operations as long as fruit with and without
symptoms, harvested from several varieties, locations, and seasons,
was mixed together. Those results were published in the Journal of