The Florida citrus industry has been fighting citrus greening, also called HLB, since its discovery in 2005 in South Florida. As harvests dwindle to dangerously low numbers, the citrus industry and its partners in The Sunshine State have been searching for a treatment or cure for the devastating disease. Bactericides are currently the hope of the industry. Emergency bactericide approval was granted in the spring, and now Florida citrus growers—and in fact, citrus across the U.S.—are awaiting bactericide approval for next season. Read on to find out how the bactericide approval is going.

Bactericide Approval for Emergency Use

Harold Browning, chief operations officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) was quoted recently in a article concerning the bactericide approval process. He maintained that the issue was twofold. First, the CRDF is attempting to get reapproved for emergency bactericide use, called Section 18, for the new year.

“Two things are in play,” Browning said in the article. “The first one is we’ve submitted the paperwork for recertification of the Section 18. That would allow us to begin use of them (bactericides) in the new year with the same plan, the same products and the same kind of details that we had during 2016. And we’re hopeful that we’ll hear on that before the turn of the calendar year,” he shared.

Secondly, the Florida citrus industry is also hoping for permanent bactericide approval authorizing the use of bactericides beyond just emergency use. In the article, Browning indicated the registrants of the three bactericides currently in use had submitted applications for EPA approval, and that it would benefit citrus everywhere in the U.S., not just in Florida. “That time is ticking toward when we have a full registration for use, not only here in Florida but across citrus in the U.S. I’m optimistic that we’re going to have these products for the next season,” he said in 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.

Photo courtesy of Sten Porse.