See comments by a UF/IFAS entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock on the pros and cons of tools for new citrus trees.

UF/IFAS entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock shared the pros and cons of tools for new citrus trees during a presentation at the recent Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo in August. She discussed insecticides, reflective metalized mulch, red-dyed kaolin, and individual protective covers (IPCs). See excepts from a Citrus Industry article below.

 Pros and Cons of Tools for New Citrus Trees

Diepenbrock share the following pros and cons concerning tools for new citrus trees:

  • “Insecticides alone are probably not the answer for citrus insect and mite control.”
  • “Reflective metalized mulch has the potential to reduce infestation by the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), which spreads HLB. The challenges of reflective mulch…are the cost of material and installation, and the fact that the material damages easily.”
  • Both red-dyed kaolin and IPCs have “been shown to reduce psyllid infestation as well as the proportion of trees infested with CandidatusLiberibacter asiaticus (CLas), the bacteria that causes HLB. The challenges for both include good coverage and proper application.”
  • The unknowns for reflective metalized mulch, red-dyed kaolin, and IPCs include “best irrigation and fertilization practices, impacts on other pests and beneficials, impacts on pathogens, …impacts on plant growth and development…the return on investment” and “what happens after trees are too big for protection by those tools.”
  • “Based on almost three years of study, IPCs outperform reflective mulch, red-dyed kaolin and monthly insecticide applications for ACP and CLM (citrus leafminer) control and for overall tree development…Trees under IPCs did not flower as robustly as trees in other treatments, which will lead to reduced fruit set.”

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.