Researchers from UF/IFAS and the University of California teamed up to shared the benefits of kaolin clay in fighting citrus greening.

Kaolin clay offers many benefits for combating citrus greening, according to two researchers. Christopher Vincent, with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), and Monique Rivera, with the University of California at Riverside, recently teamed up to host a webinar on using kaolin to fight both citrus greening and Asian citrus psyllids, the vector that spreads citrus greening, according to a Citrus Industry article. See the details below.

Benefits of Kaolin Clay

Vincent described kaolin clay as “just suspensions in water of particles that are then sprayed on the leaf to form a film on the surface of the leaf. What they do is they reflect light and through that reflection of light you get shading of the leaf … and you also get some redistribution of light into the canopy … They are also used to reduce sunburn.”

There is while kaolin, which is commercially available, and red kaolin, which is not yet available. “It’s available. It’s effective in Asian citrus psyllid management. It delays HLB infection. It improves growth. It has some limitations in terms of efficacy during high-flush periods and it has a challenge with rain fastness,” Red kaolin has an added red dye, and Vincent said “It offers a greater improvement in growth. We think it improves water use efficiency … It overcomes a few of the challenges that we see with white kaolin, like the challenge with rain fastness.”

Benefits of kaolin, specifically red kaolin, include:

  • Deters Asian citrus psyllids
  • Delays HLB infection
  • Improves tree growth and yield
  • Improves water use efficiency
  • Reduces sunburn
  • Improves leaf water status and mitigates water deficits

Watch a recording of the webinar here.

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