See why continued psyllid control is important for combating citrus greening in Florida citrus groves.
Entomologist Lukasz Stelinski was adamant that continued psyllid control is a must in Florida citrus groves, despite the fact that nearly every citrus tree in Florida’s citrus groves are infected with citrus greening. Stelinski shared the reasons for continuing psyllid control at the Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute in early April, according to a Citrus Industry article. Explore the details below.
Reasons for Continued Psyllid Control
Many growers have questioned the need to continue efforts to control Asian citrus psyllids (ACP), the vector that spreads citrus greening, especially when most of Florida’s citrus trees are already infected with the disease. Stelinski shared the benefits of continued psyllid control for citrus production. They include:
- “Researchers have observed that reducing ACP populations increases fruit yield in groves.”
- Citrus “tree defense against disease is compromised by psyllid damage” leading to reduced yields.
- “ACP density is related to tree stress.”
- Growers can utilize an ACP population threshold to guide spraying; the article maintained Stelinski said “finding from 0.2 to 1.0 ACP per tap in a tap survey of trees seems like an effective threshold at which to initiate ACP sprays.”
Stelinski also offered an alternative to dormant spraying models, which is “growers would spray for adults at bud break at the beginning of each new flush, before there is feather flush on which adults can lay eggs. Growers would then apply a second spray on the flush as ACP begin to reappear. This seems to achieve more than 60 days of low ACP populations, Stelinski said. Under his alternative model, growers would hold off spraying until ACP reach the threshold of 0.2 to 1.0 ACP per tap in a survey.”
Stelinski also advised using “windbreak walls or sprays” because psyllid populations, and citrus greening infection, are most prevalent on the edge of groves.
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.