The promising results of a treatment used by citrus producers against the cotonet in Plana de Castellon offer a ray of hope in the fight against one of the main threats for the province's citrus sector.
The treatment is based on a product that was originally used to correct zinc and manganese deficiencies in trees, Tecnokel, which is sprayed from the base of the tree to the beginning of the crown, combined with pyrethrin-based phytosanitary products.
The Nules and Vila-real farmers' associations are optimistic about this treatment. "The producers that have tried have had positive results. It is much more effective than pheromone traps," they stated.
The president of the Nules farmers' group, Pepe Montagut, said the Tecnokel had the capacity to attract the cotonet so that it stays in the trunk without reaching the crown. Then it is treated with pyrethrins. The system may resemble pheromone traps. "We also have them, but we see more insects obliterated by this one," he stated.
In addition, this new treatment is also cost-effective. "The pheromone systems proposed by the Department of Agriculture costs producers nearly 440 euro per hectare, though it includes a subsidy so producers are given free traps for another hectare. In contrast, the new method only costs 120 euro per hectare," stated the president of the Association Independent Producers from Vila-real, Victor Viciedo.
After the first results of the new system became public, all the stocks of Technokel in the cooperatives were exhausted. Fortunately, they have already been replenished and it is available for farmers.
The cotonet can wreak the greatest damage to the trees of Castellon at this time of the year, so many producers hope this new treatment will help save the next commercial season from this plague.