Researchers with UF/IFAS shared the results of research that shows kaolin particle film is successful in combating citrus greening.

A recent UF/IFAS OJ Break webinar saw the presentation of research into kaolin particle film in fighting citrus greening. UF/IFAS assistant professor Christopher Vincent presented the results of his research, the details of which were shared in a Citrus Industry article. See the results below.

Details on Kaolin Particle Film Research

“In our experimental plots in Florida, which were under high disease and psyllid pressure, both white and red kaolin reduced psyllid populations by more than 80 percent compared to monthly foliar insecticide treatments,” Vincent said in the article.

Kaolin particle film coats the green leaves of citrus trees, reflecting light and masking the color of the leaves that attract psyllids. White kaolin is available commercially, but red kaolin—where the dye has been added—is not yet commercially available to growers. Red kaolin was shown to reduce psyllid populations by about 5 percent more than white kaolin.

Vincent maintained that when trees receiving kaolin applications were compared to trees treated with a foliar insecticide treatment and untreated control trees, the kaolin-treated trees “had very low psyllid numbers.” The research also showed that kaolin had additional benefits, including reducing sunburn, improving tree productivity and reducing water loss.

The only drawback is that kaolin must be reapplied after rain, costing about $40 to $50 per acre, per application, according to the article. Research is continuing into helping kaolin to withstand rain to reduce application costs.

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