University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Christopher Vincent says kaolin clay outperforms foliar insecticides for management of HLB-spreading psyllids at times when kaolin’s use is practical. His presentation on the topic followed the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) meeting on May 22 at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. The presentation, part of a new effort to showcase CRDF-funded research, was attended by more than 50 people.
“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 says. “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. Definitely in the major spring and early summer flushes, complete coverage is not really possible.”
Control of the disease-spreading Asian citrus psyllid has been one of the main ways Florida growers have attempted to curtail the spread of HLB since the disease was discovered in the state in 2005.
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