Several trials indicate that after one year of application, bactericides increase citrus yields in HLB-infected trees compared to non-treated controls, a U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher reported Tuesday at the Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute. But the researcher, Robert Shatters, says the results are variable.
“We’ve seen three studies now, done totally separately in different ways, and they all show about the same impact,” Shatters says. “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.”
Shatter emphasizes that it’s essential to use recommended adjuvants with the bactericides. When the adjuvants were not used, he says, you “could not see any improvement” in yield.
More sprays have proven to increase bactericide efficacy on producing trees, Shatter adds. “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 says variability in bactericide results is a problem. “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 says.
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