HLB Control Has Been Costly for Growers

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

California’s efforts to keep huanglongbing (HLB) at bay have been largely successful. So far, the state’s huge citrus industry has avoided the devastating loss of trees that has occurred in Florida, South America and other commercial citrus-growing regions around the world. However, those efforts have come with a cost to citrus growers. Bruce Babcock, professor of public policy at University … Read More

Brutal Honesty on HLB

Ernie NeffCRDF, HLB Management

Rick Dantzler did not follow normal protocol in providing an update about his organization’s efforts. Dantzler, chief operating officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), didn’t talk glowingly about CRDF’s accomplishments. Rather, he started off by telling how far the Florida citrus industry has declined since CRDF was formed in 2009 primarily to find a solution to HLB. … Read More

HLB Practices: Growers’ Attitude Studied

Ernie NeffCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

Although HLB has not yet been detected in a commercial citrus grove in California, growers have been provided with voluntary best management practices to limit the spread of HLB and the psyllids that transmit the disease. A study conducted by researchers at University of California (UC) Davis and UC Riverside, in collaboration with the Citrus Research Board, examined citrus growers’ … Read More

Testing Prototypes to Get HLB Therapeutics into Trees

Ashley RobinsonHLB Management, Research


Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are working on automated systems that deliver HLB therapeutics into the citrus tree’s phloem, where the materials are most effective. The project, “Development of an automated delivery system for therapeutic materials to treat HLB-infected citrus,” is in its third year. Ozgur Batuman, project director and UF/IFAS citrus … Read More

Citrus Science Site Features Podcasts

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

Are you interested in learning more about the citrus industry’s ongoing fight to save citrus from huanglongbing (HLB) disease? Visit the Science for Citrus Health website for access to relevant and up-to-date information about control, treatment and prevention methods. The website also includes a collection of reader-friendly Research Snapshots about the new, cutting-edge tools and methods being developed by researchers … Read More

Fundecitrus to Evaluate Peptide

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Invaio Sciences, Inc. recently announced an agreement with Brazil’s Fundecitrus to evaluate the use of a natural peptide to control HLB in Brazil. The agreement will leverage Fundecitrus’ expertise in citrus grove and pest management to evaluate application details of the novel peptide maSAMP in locally relevant conditions. The peptide was developed by Hailing Jin of the University of California Riverside. … Read More

Keeping HLB out of California Groves

Ernie NeffCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

The recent annual report from California’s Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program (CPDPP) offered insights into ways the state’s citrus industry has kept HLB out of commercial groves. Jim Gorden, chair of the group’s Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Committee, stated that the California industry has “invested countless hours, leveraged millions of dollars and created dozens of innovative partnerships” in … Read More

Florida Grower Advises California on HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Pete Spyke, a Florida gift fruit citrus grower and shipper, recently offered some advice to California citrus growers for dealing with HLB. In a letter to California’s Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program, Spyke suggested that growers continue to detect and remove HLB-infected trees. Spyke’s letter follows: Dear California Citrus Growers, Based on my observations and discussions with growers and … Read More

Advances in Therapeutics for HLB Control

Ashley RobinsonHLB Management, Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is examining different ways to deliver therapeutics to citrus trees for management of citrus greening disease, also know an huanglongbing (HLB). The hope of the USDA initiative is to establish an HLB-therapeutic molecule and identify the most cost-effective strategy to deliver these molecules to growers. The project is in collaboration with the University of … Read More

Preserving Beneficial Insects

Tacy CalliesBiologicals, HLB Management

Beneficial insects could be a citrus grower’s best friend. In a time when producers are applying insecticides to control the Asian citrus psyllid, the vector of citrus greening disease, it’s important to preserve the psyllids’ natural enemies, like lady beetles and lacewings. Jawwad Qureshi, University of Florida entomologist, implores growers to scout their groves periodically to see what insects are … Read More

Dual-Function Peptide Treats and Prevents HLB

Ashley RobinsonHLB Management, Research

New research affirms a unique stable antimicrobial peptide (SAMP) found in an Australian plant can destroy HLB and help prevent infection. Hailing Jin, University of California Riverisde geneticist who led the research, shared the exciting discovery during the 2021 Florida Citrus Show. The naturally occurring peptide is found in HLB-tolerant citrus relatives, such as the Australian finger lime. The peptide … Read More

HLB Slowed by Biocontrol

Ernie NeffHLB Management

citrus greening

Florida citrus growers may have a new tool to help them slow the presence of HLB in already diseased trees, courtesy of researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). The researchers found that injecting a benign Xylella fastidiosa EB92-1 bacteria biocontrol into infected citrus trees over a period of six years reduced the incidence … Read More

Updating Guidelines for New Plantings

Ashley RobinsonAll In For Citrus Podcast, HLB Management, Research

Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are taking a whole-systems approach to update current recommendations for new plantings. A research project, “Establishing Healthy Citrus Plantings in the Face of Persistent HLB Pressure,” is led by UF/IFAS entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock. According to Diepenbrock, current guidelines were created pre-HLB and therefore are out of date … Read More

How to Stay HLB-Free in North Florida Groves

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

As temperatures increase across Florida, so does the risk for huanglongbing (HLB) disease, known as citrus greening. While the southern and central portions of the state remain vulnerable to HLB and Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) that spread the disease, growers in North Florida and South Georgia have so far been spared. But Xavier Martini, University of Florida entomologist at the … Read More

Grower Sees Steady Production Without Chemical Fertilizer

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

By Owen “Sonny” Conner The two greatest challenges of the last 20 years, for me as a citrus grower, have been HLB and foreign competition depressing prices. Citrus growers had never faced a disease threat even approaching the devastating effects HLB has had on the industry. It was the industry killer we all feared would one day raise its ugly … Read More

IPCs and Tree Performance

Ashley RobinsonHLB Management

Preventing HLB infection in newly planted citrus trees with individual protective covers (IPCs) can improve productivity and fruit quality. Thus far, IPCs have kept young citrus trees free of HLB in research plots. “Once you plant a tree, if it’s not protected, it’s exposed to HLB infection from day one,” says Fernando Alferez, an assistant professor at the University of … Read More

Managing Asian Citrus Psyllid with RNA Interference

Ashley RobinsonHLB Management, Research


Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are using RNA interference (RNAi) to alter field populations of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). Nabil Killiny, UF/IFAS associate professor, shared the latest findings from his team’s RNAi research in a recent All In For Citrus podcast episode. He says the team is using RNAi to attack … Read More

Update on Oak Mulch Research to Fight HLB

Ashley RobinsonHLB Management, Research

Researchers have been looking for ways to help Florida citrus growers fight HLB, and spreading oak mulch around the drip line of citrus trees appears promising. Lukas Hallman, a graduate student at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) is doing research to find what is in oak trees … Read More

Integrated HLB Management in Brazil

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

By Marcelo Pedreira Miranda, Haroldo Xavier Linhares Volpe, Renato Beozzo Bassanezi, Ivaldo Sala and Juliano Ayres Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening, is a notable threat to the citrus industry worldwide and was reported in the central region of São Paulo state (SPS) in Brazil in 2004. HLB then spread quickly throughout SPS, requiring the citrus industry to adapt rapidly to … Read More

HLB Control: A New Potential Method

Ernie NeffHLB Management

A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researcher has found a material that can be used to silence essential genes within Asian citrus psyllids and in the HLB-causing bacterial pathogen that the psyllids spread. The material is  2’-deoxy-2’-flouro-d-arabinonucleic acid antisense oligonucleotides (FANA ASO), small-sized single-stranded nucleic acids.  The discovery was made by Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski, an associate … Read More