Citrus greening, has had an incredibly negative effect on citrus groves in Florida, Louisiana, Texas and around the world. The disease is spread through the Asian citrus psyllid, which inserts a bacteria into the tree, slowly killing it. While a cure for the disease may still be several years off, two new treatments, using two different delivery methods, are now giving growers more options to help defend their groves from the worst of the disease.
In Florida, where citrus greening has shrunk the orange and grapefruit yields by more than half, the department of agriculture and community services has approved a new treatment from Massachusetts-based Invaio.
The company’s “Citrus Health” solution suppresses the bacteria present in an infected tree, and it has shown a yield increase of 30 percent after one application. The trademarked Trecise application method means growers are able to use far less of the solution than a traditional pesticide. Initial testing of Citrus Health shows promising results.
At the federal level, new research is also showing promising results. Last month, researchers from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service [ARS] announced the development of a new way to strengthen a tree’s immunity to the disease, employing agrobacteria.