At the recent HLB Conference in Florida a paper was given that reinforces the need for appropriate soil and water pH to maximize root density and tree health. The industry there is dominated by a range of rootstocks and by Valencia-like varieties. Jim Graham and colleagues have shown that pH contributes to orchard health in their HLB situation. This should be a reminder for California growers for general tree health. Florida soils tend to be more coarse than soils found in many California orchards. It's much harder to change soil pH with acidified irrigation water with heavier textured soils.
4.b.1 Soil and water acidification sustain root density of huanglongbing-infected trees in Florida
Jim GRAHAM, Kayla GERBERICH, Diane BRIGHT, Evan JOHNSON
University of Florida, Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred, Florida, USA
Abstract: Early symptoms of HLB include fibrous root loss and leaf blotchy mottle, followed by premature fruit and leaf drop, and yield decline. As a consequence of initial bacterial infection of fibrous roots, a 30-50% reduction in fibrous root density and elevated soil Phytophthora populations were detected in field surveys. Continued sampling of Hamlin and Valencia orange trees on Swingle citrumelo rootstock in different stages of HLB decline revealed that root loss occurs in two stages. The second phase of root loss (70-80%) begins at the early stage of tree canopy thinning resulting from leaf drop and branch dieback. A more extensive survey of HLB-affected groves indicated that greater decline in fibrous root health and expression of HLB symptoms is observed where irrigation water is high in bicarbonates (> 100 ppm) and/or soil pH > 6.5. HLB symptom expression of trees on different rootstocks follows the known intolerance to bicarbonate (Swingle citrumelo > Carrizo citrange > sour orange > Cleopatra mandarin). Acidification of irrigation water in central ridge and south central flatwoods Valencia orange groves on Swingle citrumelo rootstock for three seasons has maintained soil pH below 6.5 on the flatwoods and 6.0 on ridge. Over the last three seasons of survey, root density as an index of root heath has been sustained. Phytophthora populations remain below the damaging level in ridge groves and in flatwoods increase to damaging levels coincident with the fall root flush but drop back to non-damaging levels for remainder of the season. Compared to the 2013-14 season, yields in the ridge blocks have increased up to 4% and on the flatwoods have increased up to 22%.Growers using acidification treatments with sulfuric and/or N-phuric acid for the last 3 seasons report an average cost of $60 per acre. This cost will analyzed in relation to yield response to provide a cost benefit of acidification
Non-Technical Summary: Managements have been implemented to reduce soil, nutrient and water stress, and Phytophthora root rot. They include frequent irrigation cycles, fertigation and acidification of irrigation water and soil to reduce rhizosphere pH, and fungicides. Root density of trees under these practices fluctuates seasonally and annually but has not declined over the past 3 years. Trees managed with soil acidification and fertigation have steadily recovered in health and yield.
Psyllids as a pest group have very few specific predators that can be used in biocontrol. Instead there can be some control by generalist predators, like minute pirate bugs, spiders, lady bug beetles and predatory thrips. Predation, though, does not completely remove the pest, in this case Asian Citrus Psyllid. Leaving a few infected ACP to spread the HLB bacteria to trees, though, is a major problem because tree infection only requires a small amount of bacteria to eventually cause tree death.
Chemical control is being used in most situations for major control of the insect, and thereby the spread of any insects infected with the bacteria causing Huanglongbing. It turns out that pesticides that supplement more traditional modes of action can also be used. Kaolin is a white nonabrasive fine-grained mineral that when is sprayed on the plants forming a particle film. This compound is well known to suppress several species of insects in different crops due to host selection interference.
A recent study in Brazil investigated the influence of two kaolin formulations on the landing and feeding behavior of ACP. Both kaolin formulations had a repellent effect and interfered with the feeding behavior of ACP on citrus. Kaolin reduced the number of psyllids and protected the citrus plants from insect feeding. Frequent spray applications on the border of the farm could be an important strategy to reduce HLB spread. Spraying to control ACP spread on orchard border trees is often critical because this is where infestations often start. Kaolin won't be a replacement for other pesticide sprays, but could be an added tool for controlling the pest and spread of the disease - another integrated management tool.
Spray application of different kaolin formulations on sweet orange plants disrupt the settling and probing behavior of Diaphorina citri
M. Miranda1, O. Zanardi1; H. Volpe1; R. Garcia1; N. Roda2, E. Prado3
1 Fundecitrus, Araraquara, Brazil, 2 Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc./NovaSource, Phoenix, USA, 3 Universidade Federal de Lavras, Lavras, Brazil
Photo: Kaolin spray on Citrus Leaf
Funding of the Citrus Research Board is an investment in pertinent research that supports the industry, making the information accessible to all within the industry from pest control advisors to packing houses to farm managers and others within the industry. The goal is to get the research done and then make sure it is used. CRB represents both large and small growers throughout California.
CRB research programs are funded by grower assessments which attract both federal and state funding, funding which represents a third of the total budget. This funding is used to support such projects as, HLB-resistant citrus rootstocks; the development of effective, low-cost HLB early detection technologies to rapidly remove infected trees; improved biocontrol methods for specific insect control like Asian citrus psyllid, as well as others; pre-and post-harvest citrus research to maintain export markets, amongst many other research programs.
The Citrus Research Board also supports the Citrus Clonal Protection Program (CCPP) with the goal of insuring the safe introduction of citrus varieties, disease diagnosis and pathogen elimination of introduced varieties and the maintenance and distribution of introduced varieties. CCPP serves as the primary source of clean, disease-free budwood and new varieties from Florida. This work is a collaboration between the Citrus Nursery Board, the University of California and State and Federal Regulatory agencies. The CCCP has become a major hub of the National Clean Plant Network for Citrus, resulting in the collaboration with 10 citrus centers in nine states and territories with multimillion dollar funding in support of CCCP's operations.
CRB research supports the California Citrus Quality Council (CCQC) with the primary objective of ensuring that California citrus meets domestic and international phytosanitary, food safety, food additive and pesticide residue regulations. CCQC ensures that California citrus growers have access to export markets for their fresh citrus fruit. Exports represent a third of the California citrus grower profits.
CRB-funded research into the California citrus-breeding program has led to the development of the Tango mandarin, along with others. The core breeding program conducts yield trials throughout the state on all varietal types to give growers information on upcoming new varieties and rootstocks. There is ongoing work to incorporate molecular tools to expedite breeding efforts to find plant materials resistant to HLB.
Along with CRB funding for cutting-edge projects for pest and disease control strategies, the CRB-funded CORE IPM Program led by Beth Grafton-Cardwell has responded to citrus grower needs for modifying existing spray schedule to treat Asian citrus psyllid. The program evaluates rotational sprays at appropriate times to avoid pesticide resistance to ACP.
Finally, this CRB-packaged information has been extended to growers through programs, including: The California Citrus Conference, Post-Harvest Conference and Seminar, and Regional Grower Education Seminars. CRB-funded research is compiled in Citrograph Magazine, the only magazine dedicated solely to the California citrus industry.
- Author: Sonia Rios
The California Citrus Research Board (CRB) will be hosting a live Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) fogging. Demonstration will carried out by CRB Researcher, Dr. Spencer Walse.
The demonstration will involve placing ACP throughout t he citrus load in within the bins. Once the tent is sealed the fogger will be turned on (sit for 2 hr) and viles with the ACP will be relocated to show the percent mortality. Previous run of the experiment have been successful.
There will be 2 opportunities to view the demonstration:
Everyone is welcome! Hope to you there!
For more information: Sonia Rios, UCCE Famr Advicor- Riverside/San Diego County
951-683-6491 EXT 224
(Photos were taken at the live demonstration in Riverside County on 4/6/2017)
The University of California launched the Science for Citrus Health website to keep the citrus industry abreast of research currently being conducted to protect citrus from Huanglongbing. The site highlights research approaches, challenges and opportunities in a variety of areas that aim to provide mid- and long-term solutions to the disease.
check it out: