A UF/IFAS weed science assistant professor is doing research on herbicide synergy to help Florida citrus growers with weed management.
Controlling weeds can be a difficult task for citrus growers, but a necessary one. Weeds compete with citrus trees for water and nutrients, and research has shown that weeds harbor Asian citrus psyllids, the vector that spreads citrus greening. Ramdas Kanissery, weed science assistant professor with UF/IFAS, is studying herbicide synergy to find the best combinations of weed management tools to safely and effectively control weeds in citrus groves, according to a Citrus Industry article. Explore the details below.
Details of Herbicide Synergy
Herbicide synergy is using a combination of weed control options with different modes of option to provide both short- and long-term weed control, according to the article. “Traditionally, growers utilize a post-emergent program where they apply herbicides when the weeds emerge … But it’s only a temporary solution to a permanent issue,” Kanissery said in the article.
Benefits of utilizing herbicide synergy include a broader control of weeds, reducing weeds’ seed banks in the soil, and reducing tolerance in weeds to over-used herbicides. Kanissery maintained in the article that with “some of the programs we are evaluating here, we can get up to four or five months of control,” of weeds.
Kanissery is also researching the impact herbicides can have on the health of citrus trees. “There are many possible ways to hurt the crop when (managing weeds). The chemicals can stay in the soil and can be taken up by the tree, and subsequent heath impacts could occur,” he said in the article. He added that, “especially in this HLB era, root health is really important so we are making sure that chemicals are not impacting root growth and health.”
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