Ask any Florida citrus grower what the top priority is, and you’ll likely get the same answer: Keeping HLB-affected trees productive and profitable. The April issue of Citrus Industry magazine provides research on production practices aimed to meet this goal.
Adjusting the amount of sunlight plants receive has proven to increase citrus tree health and yield. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers Christopher Vincent, Anirban Guha, Joon Hyuk Suh and Yu Wang share results from their shade net studies. They found trees grown with 30% shade produced twice the yield as those grown in full sun. While shade net may not be an economical option for a large grove, the researchers discuss other options for shade, including individual protective covers and kaolin particle film.
Providing the right amount of water at the right time has also proven to be very beneficial in maximizing yield from HLB trees. Soil moisture sensors can assist growers with proper irrigation management. UF/IFAS researcher Sandra Guzman’s Q&A article on soil moisture sensors will ensure growers are getting the most from these tools.
Antibiotics are another option in the HLB management toolbox. Nabil Killiny and Christopher Vincent discuss their findings from UF/IFAS studies, including evaluation of the efficiency of foliar application of oxytetracycline compared to trunk injection. Find out what they learned about antibiotic movement within citrus trees.
What does weed control have to do with HLB management? Any practice that promotes tree health can prolong the life of HLB-affected trees. Less weeds in a grove means less competition for resources and healthier trees. UF/IFAS weed scientist Ramdas Kanissery provides details on the types of herbicide adjuvants that can enhance weed control in citrus. He offers guidance on product selection.
Find all these articles and more in the April issue of Citrus Industry magazine, coming soon.
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