Florida citrus: Hope in fight against greening

06/14/2012 05:34:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

They report their findings to CHMAs to determine when to treat.

It’s paying off, said Michael Rogers, an entomologist at the Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred.

He presented a series of maps at the Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference June 14, showing CHMAs and color-coded psyllid populations.

As the months progressed from August 2011, the populations throughout the citrus belt dropped significantly.

“This is showing that the efforts going on are having an impact on psyllid populations in the state,” Rogers said. “You can’t just attribute it to winter and cold weather.”

Quite the contrary, he said. The 2011-12 winter was warmer than normal so you’d expect higher psyllid numbers, if anything.

As growers quit spraying in March and April to protect bees during bloom, the maps showed psyllid numbers rebounded, but not to the numbers they were when monitoring first started in 2011.

Rogers also pointed out that abandoned groves, which go untreated and can harbor psyllid populations, can cause hotspots in otherwise vigilant CHMAs.

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