Florida citrus growers have been hoping for a “silver bullet” to take down citrus greening disease (aka HLB). However, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researcher and plant pathologist, Ozgur Batuman, shared that there isn’t one yet, and he doesn’t think there ever will be, according to a recent Citrus Industry article. What Batuman does recommend is an approach that utilizes Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
Integrated Pest Management Details
“The best option for such a complex and challenging disease is . . . integrated pest management (IPM),” Batuman told a group of Immokalee citrus growers in January. “And our growers here in Florida are actually doing just that. Now they are paying attention to root health, how to put nutrition and how much to put, and when to irrigate and how much to irrigate.” Batuman listed the following aspects as part of an IPM for combating citrus greening:Protecting root health
- Looking at macro and micronutrients
- Irrigation best practices
- Suppressing a grove’s population of HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids
- Selectively removing trees that are unproductive
- Taking good care of newly planted resets
- Batuman maintained these “are the critical components of this IPM program for HLB.
He also shared his optimism for the future of the Florida citrus industry: “We all know that HLB is unfortunately here to stay. I’m positive that our growers will do every year a little better . . .”
Here at Griffin Fertilizer, our team can help you develop a sound production program that ensures your crop or grove will perform at its best. You can contact any of our team at 863-635-2281 or visit our website 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.
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.