A year-long study into individual protective covers shows the covers will protect young citrus trees from becoming infected with citrus greening.

In the fight against citrus greening, also called HLB, only one method has shown to completely protect citrus trees from becoming infected with the citrus greening bacteria: Citrus Under Protective Screen, or CUPS. In this method, citrus trees are grown under protective screen tents, which keep out the Asian citrus psyllid, the insect vector that spreads citrus greening. However, these expensive structures are not a feasible option for every citrus grower, so one study looked at individual protective covers, also called mini-CUPS, according to a Citrus Industry article. See the results of the study below.

Individual Protective Covers Study

Individual protective covers (IPCs) are mini screen covers that fit over each young citrus tree, rather than housing the grove under a CUPS tent. The study is being conducted by the  University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)’s Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC). Researcher and citrus horticulturist with UF/IFAS-SWFREC, Fernando Alferez, maintained that the individual covers have protected young citrus trees from citrus greening during the year the study has been ongoing.

“They (IPCs) are protecting the trees,” Alferez said. “For new planted trees … this is really promising.” Alferez summarized the information in a presentation he gave at the Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce on IPCs.

Florida citrus growers could utilize IPCs when replanting citrus groves to give young citrus trees a few years’ head start, free of citrus greening. This would lengthen their productive fruit-producing years, leading to healthier citrus trees and greater harvests.

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.