Beneficial microorganisms are becoming increasingly important in the biological control of citrus pests, as a complement to the release of auxiliary insects. Proof of this is the research carried out by Koppert Spain, which aims to confirm the efficacy of an entomopathogenic fungus that could help control Trioza erytreae, one of the insects that transmits huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening. “Koppert’s objective is to develop a biological solution that may be available to producers if the insect that transmits the HLB arrived in Spain,” said Javier Calvo, researching entomologist at Koppert, in the framework of a Citrus Technical Conference held in El Rompido (province of Huelva) and Palma del Río (province of Cordoba).
Dogs specially trained by Agriculture Research Service (ARS) scientists have proven to be the most efficient way to detect huanglongbing—also known as citrus greening—according to a paper just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Currently, the only solid hope of curtailing the spread of citrus greening is to eliminate trees with the disease as quickly as possible to prevent further spread. Early detection of the citrus greening pathogen is crucial because trees can be infected and act as a source to spread the disease months or years before showing symptoms that are detectable by the naked eye.
Florida citrus growers have always understood the importance of soil health and the positive influence of microbial activity and diversity in production. As citrus greening (also known as HLB) has spread, reducing production by more than 70%, interest in how these tiny organisms can improve root health is increasing. Research showing the disease, which is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid, can reduce citrus fibrous-root density by 30% to 50% before symptoms become visible above ground only intensifies the interest to learn more.
There are numerous management issues to consider when using cover crops. Once you decide what your major goals are for using cover crops, select one or more to try out. Consider using combinations of species. You also need to decide where cover crops best fit in your system—planted following the main crop, intercropped during part or all of the growing of the main crop, or grown for an entire growing season in order to build up the soil.
Orchard soil health, or soil quality, is the capacity of soil to support productive trees over time without negatively affecting the surrounding environment. Soil health is influenced by interacting biological, physical, and chemical properties of soil. Active soil biological communities mineralize nitrogen, create soil structure, and compete with plant pathogens. Physical properties of soil determine its ability to store and release nutrients; accommodate water entry, storage, and movement; provide sufficient oxygen for roots and microbes; and moderate environmental stress. Chemical aspects of soil health include nutrient presence and availability, pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC), salinity, and the presence of any contaminants, such as heavy metals or persistent pesticide residues.
Microbials play a variety of roles in crop production.
Why should microbial controls be a part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program? The first, and main one, is that research shows that they work. Many microbial products in the market today are backed by trial data that shows when used correctly, microbials can be a very effective way to improve plant health, suppress pest pressure, and improve yields.
CORONA — A Southern California quarantine zone has been expanded in an effort to stop the spread of a disease that threatens the state’s multi billion-dollar citrus industry.
Consumers, and consequently supermarkets, demand products free of pesticide residues and with much of the citrus produced by Endulini Fruit being exported to Europe, the European Union Directive 2009/128/EC, which aims to reduce the risks and impact of pesticides on human health and the environment, has led to the popular citrus producer using softer pesticides and introducing biological pest control.
The citrus leaf miner (CLM), Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton, a gracillariid moth, has established and spread rapidly throughout the citrus-growing areas of Florida. Ultimately, a variety of pest management tactics will have to be employed to manage the CLM, including cultural, chemical and biological controls. Relying solely on chemical control is expensive and unlikely to be feasible for very long because this pest can develop resistance to pesticides. Biological control by parasites already present in Florida may provide some control (J. Pena, UF-IFAS, Homestead and P. Stansly, UF-IFAS, Immokalee, personal communications). However, it seems unlikely that the generalist parasites already present in Florida will provide adequate control of the CLM.
Citrus fruit creasing or cracking is a complex pre-harvest physiological disorder that causes significant economic losses. Recent studies have indicated that citrus fruit creasing or cracking is caused not only by genetic factors but also by environmental factors.