Florida citrus growers are anxious to see the efficacy of bactericides.
Bactericides are a main topic of discussion for Florida citrus growers, including Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), Tom Jerkins. Florida’s citrus growers are pinning their hopes for beating citrus greening, also known as HLB, on the bacteria-fighting compounds. Three bactericides have been in use now for over a year, and growers are anxious for good news on the effectiveness of the treatments. CRDF’s Tom Jerkins shared his thoughts on bactericides with Florida Citrus Mutual recently. Read his words below.
CRDF President’s Thoughts on Bactericides
According to the Citrus Mutual article, Jerkins is the one who led a chanting of “We need bactericides now!” at a Florida Citrus Mutual annual meeting a few years back. Bactericides were approved in spring of 2016 under Emergency Use provisions, based on the Florida citrus industry’s push to use them. Growers have been using them since, at least to some degree.
Jerkins maintains the jury is still out on how much of an impact the compounds will have in saving Florida’s citrus industry from bactericides. “Anecdotally, I believe many in the industry believe that there is some improvement,” he said, but, “in terms of perfect data and perfect representations and really great conclusions, not quite yet.”
However, the information from the beginning has been that bactericides will take time to affect HLB and change the disease’s impact on citrus trees. It’s believed they “can improve tree health … maybe to where there’s statistically improvement in yield maybe in the second or third year,” Jerkins said.
“The summary of all that is, (it’s) looking like it’s going to be impactful,” Jerkins said in the article. “And the question then becomes, by how much? Does it affect yield or revenues by 5 percent, 10, 15, 20? I don’t know. Those answers will be revealed to us, and then it’s up to growers to see what’s the cost of the impact and will the trees continue to improve in the future over time. We don’t know those things. But I will say unequivocally that we’re extremely thankful to have them at our disposal now so we can use them and see if we can get an economic benefit out of them.”
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.