Preserving Beneficial Insects

Tacy Callies Biologicals, 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 …

Dual-Function Peptide Treats and Prevents HLB

Ashley Robinson HLB 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 …

citrus greening

HLB Slowed by Biocontrol

Ernie Neff HLB Management

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 …

Updating Guidelines for New Plantings

Ashley Robinson All 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 According to Diepenbrock, current guidelines were created pre-HLB and therefore are out of date …

How to Stay HLB-Free in North Florida Groves

Tacy Callies HLB 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 …

Grower Sees Steady Production Without Chemical Fertilizer

Tacy Callies HLB 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 …

IPCs and Tree Performance

Ashley Robinson HLB 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 …

invasive

Managing Asian Citrus Psyllid with RNA Interference

Ashley Robinson HLB 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 …

Update on Oak Mulch Research to Fight HLB

Ashley Robinson HLB 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 …

Integrated HLB Management in Brazil

Tacy Callies HLB 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 …

HLB Control: A New Potential Method

Ernie Neff HLB 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 …

Coordinated Treatment Planned for California Citrus

Taylor Hillman HLB Management

Citrus growers and industry members recently gathered virtually to discuss the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and huanglongbing disease (HLB) situation throughout the Central Valley of California. The reason for the concern is a negative trend seen in 2020. ACP DETECTION HISTORYACPs, the vectors for the disease, are widespread in Southern California where HLB-infected trees have been found. There are ongoing …

UF/IFAS VP Scott Angle on HLB Efforts

Tacy Callies HLB Management, Research

Florida’s citrus growers are counting on research to help sustain what’s left of an industry decimated by huanglongbing (HLB). The disease remains a focal point of research at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Scott Angle, vice president for agriculture and natural resources at UF/IFAS, understands the ramifications if improved HLB management options aren’t available …

Field-Testing Natural Compounds to Fight HLB

Tacy Callies All In For Citrus Podcast, HLB Management

Field tests of numerous antibacterial products and plant-derived compounds are underway with the goal of eliminating the HLB-causing bacteria in citrus and reversing plant damage to restore tree health. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) plant root biologist Lorenzo Rossi discusses a new research project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of …

California Growers Reminded to Stay Alert

Len Wilcox California Corner, HLB Management

Jim Gorden, chair of the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee (CPDPC), is greatly concerned about the increase in sporadic Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) detections across California. Gorden sent an open letter to all citrus growers asking them to increase their vigilance against the pest and the risk of citrus greening, known as HLB disease. He said that “While the …

Kaolin Particle Film Reduces HLB Pressure

Tacy Callies HLB Management

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 (UF/IFAS) assistant professor Christopher Vincent presented his research comparing red and white kaolin particle films with foliar insecticides during a recent UF/IFAS OJ Break webinar. According to Vincent, the particles of kaolin clay …

HLB: The Microbiome’s Role

Ernie Neff HLB Management

Researchers Caroline Roper and Nichole Ginnan at the University of California, Riverside led a large research collaboration that sought to explore the microbiome’s role in HLB disease progression. Their recent article in Phytobiomes Journal, “Disease-Induced Microbial Shifts in Citrus Indicate Microbiome-Derived Responses to Huanglongbing,” moves beyond the single-snapshot view of the microbial landscape typical of microbiome research. Their holistic approach …

Time for ACP Dormant Season Sprays

Tacy Callies HLB Management, Tip of the Week

By Lauren Diepenbrock Pest management is an ongoing effort in Florida citrus. Taking advantage of pest life cycles, whether they are tied to the season or plant phenology, can make management efforts have greater impacts on pest populations. For many citrus growers, managing the impacts of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), the vector of huanglongbing (HLB), is part of the annual …

Flowering Intensity, Shoot Dieback and HLB

Tacy Callies HLB Management

Citrus trees grown in Florida continuously undergo various types and levels of stress. Stressors can include severe weather conditions, soil pH, chemicals, pests and diseases. The constant presence of HLB and psyllid infestation adds further stress to the tree, compromising overall tree health. Off-season flowering and prolonged flowering are common responses of trees when undergoing various stress conditions. Off-season and …

Growing Citrus Trees With Oak Mulch

Ernie Neff HLB Management

Lukas Hallman, a graduate student at the Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC), is doing research to find what is in oak trees that apparently helps citrus cope with HLB. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences operates the IRREC. “Anecdotal reports from Florida growers claim that citrus trees growing within the drip line of large …