A UF/IFAS entomologist shared the research on using a threshold approach for psyllid control to maintain sustainability in the fight against citrus greening.

Florida citrus growers utilize spraying to control the Asian citrus psyllid, the vector that spreads citrus greening. UF/IFAS entomologist Lukasz Stelinski shared how growers can cut costs and reduce sprays by using a threshold approach in a virtual Citrus Expo presentation, according to a Citrus Industry article. See the details below.

Using a Threshold Approach

Stelinski maintained that psyllid populations are related to citrus tree stress in that the higher the psyllid population, the higher the damage and stress to trees. Using a threshold approach, citrus growers would only utilize control measures like spraying once the populations, and resulting damage, reached a certain point.

“If the pest population (and the resulting damage) is low enough, it does not pay to take control measures,” Stelinski shared in the presentation. “As the pest population continues to rise, it reaches a point where the resulting damage would justify taking control measures;” Stelinski’s presentation maintained that a “0.7 ACP per (scouting) tap is a ‘working ballpark’ threshold,” according to the article.

The presentation shared another alternative model, saying “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. They would apply a second spray on the flush as ACP begin to reappear,” according to the article. This alternative model could offer “more than 60 days of low ACP populations,” and then “growers would hold off spraying until the ACP hit a threshold of 0.2 to 0.7 per tap.”

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