The USDA reported results of trials, maintaining bactericides increase citrus yields.
Florida citrus growers have been fighting citrus greening, also called HLB, for over a decade. They fought hard to get approval for bactericides to fight the bacterium that causes citrus greening, but bactericides have not yet been the “silver bullet” everyone is looking for to halt citrus greening and put the Florida citrus industry on the path to recovery. Results of USDA trials show that bactericides, while not a silver bullet, do increase citrus yields, according to a Citrus Industry article. See details below.
Details of Bactericides’ Increase of Citrus Yields
The results of the USDA trials were shared by researcher Robert Shatters at the Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute. “We’ve seen three studies now, done totally separately in different ways, and they all show about the same impact,” he shared. All told, the trials have shown a 15 percent increase in yields after just one year’s worth of applications.
He did, however, add that there is some variability that is not yet explained. “We see a lot of variability across different groves across the state, and we need to understand what’s causing that … But when we look across all those trials and group them together, we definitely see a 15 percent on average improvement in yield, after one year of application,” he said. “If we could just understand what’s causing that variability from grove to grove, block to block, all of a sudden we improve the effectiveness of these bactericides tremendously,” he added.
Recommendations from the trials include:
- Using recommended adjuvants with the bactericides. When adjuvants were not utilized, Shatters said they “could not see any improvement” in yields.
- Spraying multiple times. “On producing trees … definitely if you’re up to three to six treatments, we saw a statistically better improvement on that than we did in the controls,” Shatters said.
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.