Regarding psyllid-killing windbreaks, he says, “We do have a gene that interferes with muscle development in the larval stage of the psyllid. The issue with that technology is that it would also potentially affect bees, so you would probably need to develop windbreak trees that didn’t flower. So that’s another challenge that we’re working on. There’s always a problem with a new strategy.” He describes trees that might be good candidates as part of psyllid-killing windbreaks, but warns this is not a short-term project. “It’s not going to be anything in the next year or two; it’s farther downstream,” he says.
He addresses the development of rootstocks that are tolerant of or resistant to HLB. “In our gauntlet stream, we’ve got 10 or 12 trees on hybrid rootstocks that have had greening for four years now and they’re growing like normal trees. So that’s exciting.”
The OJ Break Grosser addressed was hosted by Highlands County Extension director and citrus Extension agent Laurie Hurner.
Hear more from Grosser:
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