Machine enhances psyllid scouting, boosting efficiency

07/11/2013 04:09:00 PM
Renee Stern

The Flicker shines when psyllid populations are low or when gauging population levels in a grove over time, he says.

Brushing foliage dislodges some leaves, twigs and other debris. All equipment must be disinfected between blocks to prevent spreading canker, Weingarten says. Avoiding dewy conditions also helps reduce that risk.

As an extra precaution, Duda uses the Flicker only in valencia groves, he says.

Chamberlain says the device removes some subjectivity from manual scouting that depends on individuals’ skill and judgment.

The scouting cost per acre depends on grove size, she says.

Helping fine-tune psyllid control

Tap tests and sweep nets don’t provide a broad perspective of what’s happening in a grove, says Alan Jones, president and owner of Jones Potato Farm in Parrish, Fla. He brings in the Flicker to scout his groves every few weeks.

Growers need to know exactly what their sprays are targeting to fine-tune a psyllid control program, he says. But beyond that, the device provides a better idea of what other pests and beneficials also should be considered.

And, by scouting a row at a time, the Flicker allows him to test the impact of different products and practices.

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