A decrease in the practice of eradicating HLB-infected trees is one of the reasons for increased HLB infections in Brazil, Fundecitrus researcher Renato Bassanezi stated recently.
An HLB survey conducted by Fundecitrus pointed to an increase in the incidence of the disease in plants aged six to 10 years and over 10 years for the fifth consecutive year. That shows that the practice of not eradicating is increasing among older and more productive plants. The survey also indicated that young orchards are increasingly affected, with a 50% increase in plants up to five years old, accumulating an HLB incidence of 10.21%.
Bassanezi said that “the lack of eradication and the high presence of symptomatic plants already makes it difficult to control the disease in young orchards. We can say that the situation is alarming, and that this high incidence creates an even more dramatic scenario for the coming years, where it may be even more difficult to renew orchards and expand the planted area.”
Diseased plants are considered sources of permanent contamination when kept in the orchard. Such trees also require stricter chemical control so that the HLB-spreading psyllid does not develop in them and acquire the disease-causing bacteria.
Juliano Ayres, general manager of Fundecitrus, said, “When you fail to eliminate diseased plants, there is a false impression of gain in the short term, but the practice can lead to the impossibility of renewing orchards in the medium term.”
Fundecitrus recommends that growers intensify internal and external management actions. Within the properties, growers should adopt greater rigor in the control of the HLB-spreading psyllid and in the elimination of diseased plants. Around farms, greater rigor is recommended in replacing citrus and myrtle plants in backyards, along with psyllid control or elimination of poorly managed or abandoned orchards.
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