A UF/IFAS assistant professor of entomology spoke about pest management with Individual Protective Covers (IPCs) during the virtual Citrus Expo.

Many Florida citrus growers are trying Individual Protective Covers (IPCs) to protect young citrus trees from becoming infected with citrus greening, giving the trees time to grow free of the disease. Lauren Diepenbrock, an assistant professor of entomology with UF/IFAS presented on the advantages and disadvantages of IPCs at the recent Citrus Expo, focusing on managing pests and disease. See the highlights from a Citrus Industry article below.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Individual Protective Covers

There are both advantages and disadvantages to using ICPs, with most being concerned with pest management.

Advantages include, according to the article:

-Reducing psyllid access to young citrus trees.

-Promoting rapid tree growth.

-Offering citrus growers the ability to save time and money on insecticide applications.

-The tree canopy development is greater when ICPs are used.

Disadvantages of using ICPs, according to Diepenbrock’s presentation, include:

-Foliar applications require removal of the bags to allow coverage.

-Scouting issues.

-Unknowns, such as what size bags are optimal, how long to leave the bags on the young trees, whether they should be replaced with larger bags as the trees grow, and the bags’ potential impact on tree roots.

-Pest management still needs to be done for other pests. Pests that can get into the bags include spider mites, snails, and lebbeck mealybugs.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.