A UF/IFAS researcher shared his thoughts on aspects of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for fighting citrus greening.

Florida citrus growers have been hoping for a “silver bullet” to take down citrus greening, also known as HLB. However, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researcher and plant pathologist, Ozgur Batuman, shared that there isn’t one yet, and he doesn’t think there ever will be, according to a Citrus Industry article. What Batuman does recommend is an approach that utilizes Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Read his thoughts on IPMs for fighting citrus greening below.

Integrated Pest Management Details

“The best option for such a complex and challenging disease is … integrated pest management (IPM),” Batuman told a group of Immokalee citrus growers in January. “And our growers here in Florida are actually doing just that. Now they are paying attention to root health, how to put nutrition and how much to put, and when to irrigate and how much to irrigate.”

Batuman listed the following aspects as part of an IPM for combating citrus greening:

  • Protecting root health
  • Looking at macro and micronutrients
  • Irrigation best practices
  • Suppressing a grove’s population of HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids
  • Selectively removing trees that are unproductive
  • Taking good care of newly planted resets

Batuman maintained these “are the critical components of this IPM program for HLB.”

He also shared his optimism for the future of the Florida citrus industry. “We all know that HLB is unfortunately here to stay. I’m positive that our growers will do every year a little better” and researchers such as himself will “bring more missing pieces of this challenging situation.” He ended with, “And I think in the near future we will have better, brighter citriculture here in Florida.”

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.