Recent UF/IFAS research draws a connection between weed control and both citrus greening and yield.
Weeds are not good for anyone in ag, so a weed control program is a necessity. Recent research out of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) shows that weed management is even more important for citrus growers than previously thought, according to a Citrus Industry article. See the details below.
The Connection Between Weed Control, Yield, and Citrus Greening
The research shows that weed control can have a direct effect on both citrus yield and the Asian citrus psyllid, the vector that spreads citrus greening. Ramdas Kanissery, a weed scientist with UF/IFAS who works at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) in Immokalee, maintained that psyllids will feed on weeds, such as Spanish needle, dog fennel and primrose, giving the insect food and shelter during psyllid sprayings. “Psyllids can potentially go to those weeds and survive … and come back to the citrus grove” he explained in the article.
As to weed management affecting yield, Kanissery shared that he always monitors how yield is affected in any research, “because at the end of the day, it boils down to getting a good yield.” Kanissery’s research has shown that managing a minimum of 75 percent of weeds in tree rows can result in a significant increase in yield. Per the article, Kanissery maintained that “managing 75 percent of weeds ‘is not that difficult.’”
Managing weeds also cuts down on water and fertilizer use, as weeds are not using up those inputs.
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