Read recommendations based on scientific research concerning citrus greening and young citrus trees.
Florida citrus growers are looking for any edge they can get over citrus greening, also known as HLB, a bacterial disease that has wreaked havoc with the industry in the last 10 years or so. Harvests have dropped by over 70% as the disease reduces fruit production and eventually kills the citrus tree. Many citrus growers are replacing dead or infected citrus trees, and there are some specific recommendations for young citrus trees and citrus greening to protect the health of the trees. UF/IFAS Plant pathologist Megan Dewdney presented the latest recommendations at the 2017 International Research Conference on HLB and at an HLB Grower Day in Lake Alfred, according to an article in Citrus Industry Magazine. Read a summary of her recommendations she discussed below.
Recommendations for Young Citrus Trees
- Keep Young Citrus Trees free of Asian Citrus Psyllids. “Probably the most important thing about taking care of young trees…is really looking at your psyllid control. Is it adequate to try and keep those trees protected for at least those first three years? … Do you have neighbors that have abandoned groves or semi-managed groves…they aren’t doing much in terms of psyllid control. These are probably the ones, the semi-abandoned ones, that are probably the most productive in terms of psyllids. And if you have a large number of psyllids coming in, it’s very, very difficult to protect the trees by any means to keep them viable.”
- Test for HLB in the Roots of Young Citrus Trees (per research out of Texas): ““It is very difficult to pick the right leaves that might have the bacteria in them. So, if you have suspicions that you’re not getting any positive results from leaf analysis…Texas is recommending…looking at testing the roots to see which ones are truly symptomatic.”
- Best Thermotherapy Timing to Lower HLB Levels: “It looks like the winter seems to have the greatest total reduction in bacteria.”
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.