Citrus Under Protective Screen [CUPS]
Net houses have been used in agriculture since the middle of the 20th century and have become a standard cultural practice in the U.S.A. and around the world, particularly for annual crops and plant nurseries. In light of their sustainability and effectiveness against pests but also against environmental challenges, production systems under protective screens have gained interest for perennial cropping systems. Permanent netting structure for commercial citrus production have been implemented since the beginning of the century in many citrus-producing countries to protect against cross-pollination, sunburn, frost, hail and wind damages. In HLB-affected areas, completely sealed structures have been used to exclude the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) and produce HLB-free trees. This approach proved to be very effective in the citrus nurseries and is now being implemented for commercial citrus production in the U.S.
A partnership between the US Department of Agriculture, the California Citrus Research Board and the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources has allowed us to leverage funding to build an experimental CUPS structure at the Lindcove Research and Extension Center and establish a research program to determine how this hermetic structure that excludes the ACP impacts environmental conditions and in turn tree performance and citrus production.
Citrus production system under net in South Africa for sun and wind protection.