University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock reports on Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) management studies being conducted around the world. Her report covers presentations made at the International Citrus Research Conference on HLB in March. She summarized the international scientists’ observations at the Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute in Avon Park last month. She shares her observations in the current episode of the All In For Citrus podcast.
Diepenbrock discusses the role of nutrition on HLB acquisition by ACP, flush timing and ACP management, biological control for ACP and more.
She says growers need to continue ACP management, “but perhaps not at the level that we have in the past.” She expands on that in the podcast, when asked about the impact of many Florida growers reducing ACP sprays since HLB has become endemic throughout the Citrus Belt. “You can spray and spray and spray, and your neighbor might not spray once,” she says. When a grower sprays for psyllids but his or her neighbors don’t, the psyllids just move around, she says. In that case, the grower who sprays increases psyllid management costs and increases the chance of ACP becoming resistant to insecticides.
“With the reduction in sprays, if we can target the timing of those sprays, that I think has a lot of really good potential for helping our industry,” Diepenbrock continues. She says timing ACP sprays with tree flush cycles rather than just spraying at set times, or “calendar spraying,” could help growers save money and aid in reestablishment of beneficial insects.
Hear more from Diepenbrock, as well as from two other UF/IFAS scientists who summarized HLB research pertaining to horticultural practices and HLB pathology, in the All In For Citrus podcast. Listen to the full podcast here.
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