Researchers are seeing positive results from an experiment to shield Florida grapefruit under a protective screen knows as “CUPS”. The system, “Citrus Under Protective Screens,” has been used by commercial growers and UF/IFAS scientists to prevent the deadly citrus greening transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid.
In Florida, grapefruit production has dwindled from 40.8 million boxes in 2003-2004 to 4.9 million boxes in 2018-2019, according to the USDA.
Grapefruit produces a good yield under CUPS due to its ability to adapt to higher temperatures under a protective covering. Other reasons for higher yields include high-density planting, a hydroponic system and drip fertigation.