Explore the psyllid-fighting photonic fence that is under development to help fight citrus greening.
Citrus greening, also known as HLB, is devastating Florida’s citrus industry. A cool piece of psyllid-fighting technology that is currently in the works—a photonic fence—may just help. The fence is aimed at fighting the Asian citrus psyllid, the small insect that carries the bacteria that cause citrus greening. The psyllid infect citrus trees when they feed on the trees, so anything that stops the psyllid would stop the spread of citrus greening. See how the photonic fence might help, below.
Details of the Photonic Fence
The photonic fence was explained at the Florida Citrus Show, and then summarized in a Citrus Industry article by U.S. Department of Agriculture research entomologist Joe Patt. “Photonic fence is a multi-modal system that uses several different types of light in order to detect, track, identify and, if desired, kill specific target insect species in flight,” Patt said in the article.
It’s hoped the photonic fence can create a perimeter around citrus groves to keep the Asian citrus psyllid at bay. “For a grove, it’s going to be functional as a perimeter protection,” he shared.
A 10-foot-tall by 100-foot-long photonic fence was recently set up for testing, utilizing mosquitos. “This first test run was successful in a number of ways,” Patt said. The fence can detect and identify the insects passing through it, and it also has a “lethal laser mode” that kills insects. Patt said while the technology would have a high start-up cost, it is guaranteed for 10 years. It could be available to citrus growers as soon as 2019.
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.