Explore research that tries to solve the problem of keeping young citrus groves free of citrus greening infection. 

In my latest column in Central Florida AgNews, I shared the information from Mike Irey’s presentation at the 2020 Citrus Show in January. Irey is the Chief of Plant Sciences at the U.S. Sugar Corporation, and his presentation, “Controlling primary HLB infection,” was produced with assistance from two professors of mathematics with UF. The study looked at simulations of different spraying frequencies to see which would keep young trees free of citrus greening infection the longest. See the results below.

Spraying and Citrus Greening Infection

Irey’s presentation maintained that “the continued success of the citrus industry will depend on bringing young groves in to production,” and keeping them free of citrus greening for as long as possible. The study simulated rates of citrus greening infection for mature groves and young groves when different spray rates were utilized. Two different sets of simulations were run; one for a grove of mature trees adjacent to a grove of young trees, and the second consisting of one mature grove block and two young adjacent grove blocks.

Spray rates included spraying every 10 days, every 15 days, and every 30 days. Conclusions of the studies include:

  • A once-a-month spraying schedule is not enough to disrupt the life cycle of the Asian citrus psyllid, which is 14 days.
  • When the two young blocks were sprayed every 10 days, infection rates into the middle block were the lowest of all the simulations, and it never spread into the last, far block of young citrus grove.
  • Surrounding blocks should be treated two or more times a month and younger blocks one to two times a month, with the yield versus cost model utilized.

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.