Texas growers take aim at greening disease

11/25/2013 03:06:00 PM
Tom Burfield

Something new in Texas from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is a field insectary program, where existing psyllid-infested trees are caged, and Tamarixia are introduced and allowed to reproduce, Prewett said.

The Tamarixia population multiplies, the cage is removed after a couple of months, and the insects self distribute.

The state also is in the process of creating the Texas Citrus Pest and Disease Management Corp. to deal with HLB and the psyllids, Prewett said.

The body has been authorized by the Texas Legislature, and a 15-member board of directors will conduct a referendum to seek approval by growers.

Texas has about 27,000 acres of citrus, 70% of which are grapefruit, and 30% of which are oranges.

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