The Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo featured a promising update on using oxytetracycline injections for citrus greening.

Florida citrus growers attending the Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo in August heard an update on using oxytetracycline injections for citrus greening. Oxytetracycline (OTC) is a antibiotic that, once injected into a citrus trees’ phloem, is able to help the tree to combat the bacteria that cause citrus greening, or HLB. A Florida Grower article shared the updates; see the details below.

Oxytetracycline Injections for Citrus Greening

According to the article, Rick Dantzler, the chief operating officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), shared the updates on oxytetracycline injections for citrus greening during the general session educational seminars. He said “We want to begin this march back to where we were in 2014, producing about 100 million boxes. With that we can maintain infrastructure, and I think we can sell that much orange juice. That allows a lot of these other therapies to keep trees from declining to the point in the past three years where we saw them fall off the cliff.”

Updates on OTC injections shared included:

  • There are two companies with OTC products that can be injected into citrus trees that are in the process of getting federal and state approvals.
  • TJ BioTech is further along in the process, having provided the EPA with information it requires regarding residue studies for determining if a 24c label or section 18 label is required.
  • According to the article, “If a 24c label is submitted, EPA has 90 days to respond to the state. If a section 18 is requested, EPA has 45 days to respond.”
  • The second company plans to have its label submission ready for EPA in Spring of 2023.

Dantzler maintained that they hope the OTC treatments will be available soon. “I feel like within a reasonably short time frame we are going to have this (OTC) therapy available to growers. We believe it works. Dr. Ute Albrecht, University of Florida professor of plant physiology, is doing some research, which CRDF is helping to fund to document what the products are doing rather than just what the companies are telling us. We are very hopeful about these products,” Dantzler said.

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.