Microregion maps developed by Fundecitrus should help Brazilian citrus growers make the necessary decisions to combat HLB disease, also known as greening.
Fundecitrus explained that the incidence of HLB differs in the various regions of Brazil’s extensive citrus belt. To allow citrus growers to better understand the places where the disease is located, a study by Fundecitrus divided the belt into 84 microregions. The microregions are based on five factors: incidence of greening, psyllid population, citrus density, number of citrus properties and profile of the properties.
The microregion maps support more assertive decisions to choose the best place to start new citrus plantations and to determine what intensity of HLB control should be adopted.
“Based on this information, the recommendation is that producers take the necessary measures to avoid the increase in greening in their orchards, carefully evaluating the location for new plantings and, when possible, choosing regions that are less favorable to the disease and that facilitate its regional management,” said Fundecitrus researcher Renato Bassanezi.
In addition to getting to know the microregion, it is important for citrus growers to also get to know the surroundings of the farm and who their closest neighbors are, within a radius of 5 kilometers. Within a microregion with favorable conditions for HLB, it is possible to find an “isolated” location, with no citrus properties nearby. Such a location allows for less pressure from HLB-spreading psyllids coming from outside the farm and increases the chances of successful internal control.
HLB inoculum sources are not only found in commercial orchards without psyllid control and elimination of diseased plants. They may also be in non-commercial properties such as ranches, country houses and rural neighborhoods, as well as in pastures, forests or within other crops.
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