Researchers with UF/IFAS shared options for lowering the costs of Asian citrus psyllid control in the fight against citrus greening.

A Citrus Insect Management Workshop at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred saw a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist recommending ways to cut Asian Citrus Psyllid control costs on January 8th. Entomologist Lukasz Stelinski shared pointers on lowering psyllid control costs for citrus growers, according to a Citrus Industry article. See the details below.

Cutting Asian Citrus Psyllid Control Costs

  1. Psyllid monitoring and establishment of psyllid tolerance thresholds. According to the article, Stelinski “credited the late UF/IFAS entomologist Phil Stansly” for determining that monitoring and establishing tolerance thresholds for psyllids could cut control costs. Stelinski said: “He (Stansly) looked at whether we could use thresholds to time insecticides in mature citrus with nearly 100 percent HLB infection,” Stelinski said. Stansly showed that “while calendar sprays will typically produce the highest yields and will have the greatest reduction in psyllid densities, sometimes, depending on the psyllid pressures, using an action threshold, for example .2 psyllids per tap sampling per block, can result in higher profits and fewer sprays than a calendar spray.” Stelinski explained that’s because the yield gain resulting from extra sprays “does not result in greater economic output. You invest more in insecticides than you make up for in yield.”
  2. Focusing on psyllid control at grove borders. According to Stelinski, “the highest psyllid densities and incidence of HLB will be on the borders.”
  3. Killing psyllid populations prior to flushes, such as with dormant winter sprays. “The quicker you can get to them (psyllids), and the quicker you can reduce them before they start to build up on those flushes, the much more bang you get for that investment in insecticide,” Stelinski is quoted as saying in the article.
  4. Combining techniques. Using a combination of options, such as kaolin, reflective mulch, and psyllid exclusion, can also cut control costs, according to the article.

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.