Mike Roberts

Lasers Could be New Treatment for Citrus Greening

by MIKE ROBERTS         
Citrus greening bacteria gets into the very fiber of citrus trees, and getting treatments and cures into those internal cells has proven a struggle up to now. UF/IFAS horticultural sciences professor, Ed Etxeberria, recently shared how lasers have proven effective during recent testing in helping spray treatments like bactericides to penetrate past the surface of citrus leaves. The benefits could be enough to place lasers as a necessary part of the citrus grower’s toolkit for combating citrus greening.
Lasers and Citrus Greening Treatments
According to Etxeberria in a Citrus Industry article, the lasers make it easier for treatments that combat citrus greening to reach inside the leaves. Citrus leaves have a waxy cuticle that repels sprays. The lasers shoot infra-red energy pulses at the leaves, which creates small cracks in the leaves’ cuticles. These cracks allow spray treatments, like bactericides, to get into the leaves and be more effective at fighting citrus greening.
Etxeberria maintained in the article that the use of this technology increases the penetration of agrochemicals and sprays into the leaves “by more than 4,000 percent.” Benefits include enhanced uptake of spray treatments and a reduction in the amount of agrochemicals required. Growers could benefit from fewer sprayings and having citrus trees that respond better to treatments. The next step is developing the technology for whole-grove treatments.
In the meantime, our team here at Griffin Fertilizer is here to help you find a spraying and nutrient strategy that helps your crop perform at its best while practicing the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship (right source, right rate, right time, right place).  You can contact any of our team at 863-635-2281 or visit our website for more information about our products at GriffinFertilizer.com.
This column is sponsored by Griffin Fertilizer Co., and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of CFAN or of its advertisers.
BIO: Mike Roberts is the Vice President of the Frostproof, Fla.-based Griffin Fertilizer Co. Roberts joined the company in November 2011. He has spent the majority of his career in the fertilizer/agchem industry. Roberts earned a Bachelor of Science degree in citrus production from Florida Southern College in Lakeland. For more information, visit griffinfertilizer.com.   

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