Researchers with UF/IFAS maintain Individual Protective Covers for Citrus, or IPCs, show promise in protecting trees from citrus greening.

Citrus growers are trying everything to protect their citrus trees from being infected by citrus greening, from spraying for the Asian citrus psyllid, the insect vector that spreads citrus greening, to growing citrus under large protective screens (CUPS). The latest method is Individual Protective Covers for citrus, or IPCs. Rather than grow an entire citrus grove under a giant screen tent, each young citrus tree is protected with a mesh-like bag that prevents psyllids from feeding on and infecting the tree. According to a Citrus Industry article. See the latest research into individual protective covers for citrus below.

Research Into Individual Protective Covers for Citrus

Susmita Gaire, a UF/IFAS graduate student, presented the information at the recent Florida State Horticultural Society annual meeting, according to the article. Gaire maintained that the IPCs, thus far, have protected citrus trees in a research plot from both damage from Asian citrus psyllids and being infected by citrus greening.

The IPCs are geared towards protecting young, newly-planted citrus trees from Asian citrus psyllids and citrus greening. It gives the trees a few years to grow free of citrus greening, thus extending their fruit-bearing years once the IPCs are removed and the trees are infected with greening.

While the research into IPCs has been good thus far, Gaire maintained that it’s still “too early” for a recommendation by UF/IFAS that growers use IPCs in the grove. However, many growers are already using IPCs to protect their young citrus trees.

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