Explore Asian citrus psyllid control using a phenology-based approach from a Texas A&M University professor.

Controlling the Asian citrus psyllid has been one avenue for combating citrus greening in Florida citrus groves. Many growers spray based on a calendar or threshold basis, according to a Citrus Industry article. Citrus Entomologist at Texas A&M University, Mamoudou Sétamou, shared another option: using a phenology-based approach for Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) control. Sétamou shared the details of this spraying method at a University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program Citrus Health Webinar. Explore the details below.

Details of a Phenology-Based Approach

According to the article, the aims of ACP spraying is to “minimize psyllid movement between groves, reduce HLB transmission and maintain citrus production at a profitable level.” However, calendar or threshold-based sprays can lead to high-spray frequencies and costs. ACP are highly mobile and they reproduce quickly, meaning that spraying based on a calendar or threshold is not always successful.

A Texas A&M University citrus entomologist, Mamoudou Sétamou, shared the details of using a phenology-based approach during a Citrus Health Webinar, citing a lower cost. The steps, from the article, include:

  1. “The first step is to study the citrus tree phenology to determine major flush cycles. Psyllid populations generally increase with flush, so targeting psyllids during peak flush periods is a critical component of keeping their populations at bay.”
  2. Then, “spray program should include an area-wide dormant spray during the overwinter period, applied before the first major flush of the year.”
  3. “Growers should target their spray applications at the onset of subsequent flush cycles during the active growing season and conduct border sprays between flush cycles when psyllids are present.”

According to Sétamou, growers should “proactively monitor for psyllids and other pests year-round.”

This spray program resulted in a 25 percent to 35 percent reduction in costs under standard threshold-based programs, according to the article.

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.