Citrus growers discussed two important issues in the industry: psyllid control and bactericides. Where do you stand?
A forum in Sebring in mid-May focused on two main issues concerning citrus greening, also known as HLB: bactericides and psyllid control. A Citrus Industry Magazine article reported the sentiments of citrus growers at the foru,. Read a summary of growers’ thoughts below.
The jury is still out about bactericides, and growers are reporting various levels of effectiveness. Highlands County Extension director and citrus agent, Laurie Hurner, shared “I’m afraid that some of the growers thought that [bactericides] was a silver bullet that was going to be an answer. I like to consider these kinds of things perhaps an additional boost, but certainly not a silver bullet.”
She pointed out that the push for bactericides was so intense. “A lot of the organizations in the state went out on a limb and fought to get those ready for us to use,” she said, ““It’s frustrating because when we got the bactericides introduced, we all worked really, really hard to get that done.”
Some growers are reporting that bactericides seem to be effective, while others are saying they don’t seem to be making a difference at all. Hurner pointed out that the difference could be from the different use of inputs. “One of the things you heard this morning [from growers] was,’ we didn’t spend money on other things, perhaps, because we added bactericides to the mix,’ and we haven’t seen the results … And maybe we got hurt in some ways by not keeping those other things in our production program.”
Psyllid control was another important topic at the forum with many growers wondering why psyllid control efforts are so important when citrus greening is already present in every citrus grove in Florida. Hurner explained ““I was very encouraged to hear some major growers say that we’ve got to control psyllids in order to stay in business, in order to stay ahead of this thing. There’s no catching up once you get behind in psyllid control … It’s a fight well worth fighting, and we’ve got to continue, I think, in order to be successful.”
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