Researchers found use of kaolin particle film on trees reduced populations of HLB-spreading psyllids and delayed HLB infection. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Christopher Vincent and graduate student Juanpablo Salvatierra Miranda report on their findings.
Vincent says both white kaolin and red kaolin applications “had very low psyllid numbers” compared to a foliar insecticide treatment and an untreated control. He describes white kaolin as a natural product that is commercially available and red kaolin as white kaolin that is dyed to make it pink. Red kaolin is not yet commercially available.
“Both kaolin treatments delayed (HLB) infection” compared to the foliar insecticide and the control, Vincent adds. He says trees with the kaolin treatments now have 50 to 60 percent HLB infection rates; control trees and those treated with foliar insecticide have 100 percent infection rates.
Miranda reports on several other research findings, including the heights of trees treated by different methods. “We had significantly higher tree height in the red treatment compared to the white one,” he says. Trees treated with both colors of kaolin grew higher than those treated with foliar insecticide and those that weren’t treated.
The results of the studies on kaolin’s impact on psyllids and HLB were reported at the recent Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute in Avon Park.
Hear more in-depth results of the kaolin study from Vincent and Miranda:
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