UF research on greening disease

Mesh covers protect citrus trees from psyllids

New research from Fernando Alferez shows that citrus trees grown under individual protective covers (IPCs) show no signs of Huanglongbing, commonly known as citrus greening disease. Specifically, scientists found that psyllids cannot penetrate the bags (IPCs) under which the trees are growing because the diameter of their openings is smaller than the insects.

Alferez, an assistant professor of horticultural sciences at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center: “Our research has confirmed that the IPCs are effective in keeping the trees free from HLB at least until they start producing fruit. This is important because until now, once the trees were planted, they were exposed to the psyllid, which carries the disease. So, they became infected with greening in a matter of months.”

Some farmers already use the IPCs. Each mesh cover costs between $6 and $8, Alferez said. The price for farmers to cover their groves depends on how many IPCs you buy and also from which company. For a 10-acre grove, the cost for growers will depend on planting density. If you plant 200 trees per acre, that equals about $16,000.

Source: blogs.ifas.ufl.edu

Photo source: Dreamstime.com

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