Steam proven against citrus greening HLB

Steam is a natural pest and disease treatment that can be used in conventional and organic groves and is a low cost solution to get rid of all the different problems growers are facing. Florida researchers found out, once a tree is treated with steam there is a long duration of reduced pathogens in the trees. There are many other diseases and tree afflictions out there that can be treated with steam.

The good thing with steamed trees is that the bacteria are killed in the tree. Psyllids that land on those steamed trees don't carry the bacteria off those trees and spread it all over. Commercially proven tree heating stops HLB in the tree above ground, as there has been proof of it working since USDA/IFAS tested the principles before 2011. Now commercial growers using a TreeSteamer© are insured, that they have a normal crop even for the fresh market, as it’s the one method of using heat to achieve equivalent reduction in CLas bacterial titer in HLB-infected trees.

Using steam as an inexpensive management tool against greening is a smart and responsible way to take care of the citrus groves yearly and save the citrus industry while maintaining the existing inventory of healthy trees. Two to three year old trees start picking up HLB little by little until the fourth or fifth year old grove is so infested with greening it needs to be pushed and the whole process is to start over again. But not with steam treatments as they keep the tree growing and it’s the only existing control strategy today.

The TreeSteamer© units have lowered the cost of steam treatments with technology breakthroughs such as dual valves on the steam vessel to vacate the steam faster for more trees per hour, auto lift side curtains for efficiency and steam control, multi port steam distribution system that can have its trajectory angle changed for different tree sizes and spacing, multi 3-speed fans above the trees during steaming to move the steam faster and a fast retrieve tree cover system that does 2 or more trees at once to cut steaming costs in half or more.

The company visited the groves this last week and concluded that groves not steamed resulted in more drop and smaller oranges and about half as many oranges per tree, with up to 15% loss with some losing 45%, these were only Hamlins. The steamed treated groves were running less than 4% drop on average, with 9% loss being the most on one grove. The steamed trees had a third larger size and 30% more oranges per tree. The formula used was 11 or 22 rows across the grove, then down to the 22nd and 23rd trees for counting on the same day.

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