A panel of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) in December discussed combining thermotherapy and bactericides in field trials in an effort to fight HLB. Most Florida growers used bactericides throughout 2016, and several growers have experimented with thermotherapy over the last few years.
CRDF Chief Operations Officer Harold Browning discusses the concept of combining the two HLB therapies: “Certainly thermotherapy by itself reduces the (HLB-causing) bacteria. The bactericides, that’s the whole point of them. And if you use them in tandem, hopefully you get a synergistic effect. Among the opportunities would be treating with thermotherapy and immediately coming behind with the bactericides, kind of a one-two punch. The other alternative that we are contemplating putting into a field trial would be to treat with thermotherapy and when you get the first flush following the thermotherapy, you could come back in with the bactericides, because we know that foliar uptake is better on expanding leaves than it is on fully hardened-off leaves … We’ll come forward probably in January with a proposal to look at this in more detail.”
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