Growers continue to battle psyllids

10/24/2013 04:29:00 PM
Tom Burfield

Research efforts

Even private companies are getting involved.

Bayer CropScience has announced collaboration with the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation to create a three-year grant program for citrus greening research.

The $200,000 grant was awarded to the Citrus Research and Development Foundation.

The benefits of the grant will extend far beyond Florida, said Steve Olson, Bayer CropScience brand manager for the insecticide portfolio.

Any cure or benefits that help sustain the citrus industry would be applicable to most growing areas.

Extensive research to find a long-term solution to the problem is probably best left to academia or the industry, rather than just one private company, he said.

“There is nothing that I am aware of at this time that will control HLB,” Olson said, but Bayer CropScience is screening compounds that might have a direct effect on bacteria by fighting psyllids or HLB.

“We have a portfolio of products that are already targeted for the Asian citrus psyllid,” he said, that includes Movento and Admire Pro.

A new product currently is under review by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Work also is ongoing to determine what might be done to extend longevity of tree life, even if they develop the disease, Olson said.

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