PFD Threat Nears

Ernie NeffPFD

Megan Dewdney

“Postbloom fruit drop (PFD) season is coming upon us fairly quickly,” plant pathologist Megan Dewdney said in summarizing a presentation she made Jan. 16 in Immokalee, Florida. “Growers should be planning on keeping an eye on the rain forecast … how much bloom they are having now, how much bloom they’ll have in two (to) three weeks, and keeping an eye on whether they see any infection if we get rain during that period of time.” Dewdney is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher working at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred.

PFD incidence was light in Florida during the past two years, but experts think there is a good chance that expected higher rains during this bloom season could increase disease incidence this year. The PFD fungus moves with rain splash and wind-borne rain.

Dewdney discussed control options in case the disease appears this year. “Probably the best products that we’ve tested so far have been the strobilurin fungicides mixed with ferbam … Doing nothing for PFD is probably your worst option,” she said.

Approximately 60 growers and others heard Dewdney discuss postbloom fruit drop and several other citrus diseases at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center.

Hear more from Dewdney:

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Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large