UF/IFAS researcher maintains the kaolin clay is better than foliar insecticides in certain instances for psyllid management.
Christopher Vincent, a researcher with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) shared the effects of kaolin clay on psyllid management at a presentation at a Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) meeting. The details of his presentation were shared in a Citrus Industry article. See the details below.
Kaolin Clay Versus Psyllid Management
Vincent’s presentation was part of a showcase of CRDF-funded research, specifically on psyllid control options. He shared how kaolin clay stacks up in fighting the Asian citrus psyllid, the vector that spreads citrus greening, also known as HLB, from citrus tree to citrus tree.
“The bottom line is that kaolin clay applications prevent psyllids from landing on the tree and outperform foliar insecticides pretty significantly during the period in which the kaolin can cover the leaves,” Vincent shared at the presentation, according to the article. Keeping the psyllids from landing in the trees will keep them from spreading the citrus greening bacteria.
The clay isn’t the best choice in all settings, however. “The kaolin can last through 3 to 5 inches of rain. So it depends on the frequency that the grower can tolerate in terms of application,” Vincent explained. “Definitely in the major spring and early summer flushes, complete coverage is not really possible.” Kaolin can be part of the arsenal to fight psyllids and citrus greening.
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Image courtesy of USDA ARS Image Gallery.