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February 6, 2014

Florida Citrus Show: Growers Gather to Talk HLB

As citrus greening continues to compromise the production of Florida’s signature citrus crop, industry leaders and supporters continue to strengthen forces, endeavoring to battle and beat this incredibly invasive, seemingly insurmountable problem.

In late January 2014, a strong collective of growers, packers, and other industry stakeholders gathered at the Florida Citrus Show eager to talk solutions.

Solutions Presented for Citrus Greening During the Florida Citrus Show

Clearing the Groves and Replanting

A tree replant program is being pushed to counter the dwindling tree supply as a result of heavy grove clearing campaigns.

Conducting Further Research on the Effectiveness of Microbial Treatment 

Additional research is required to enhance delivery systems, develop a time-release formula, and to potentially find more HLB-fighting molecules. Greater pressure must be placed on Citrus Research and Development Foundation members for more research on the use of antimicrobials.

Alternative Solutions Presented for HLB

  • Disease-resistant rootstocks. Promising disease-resistant sour orange and sour-like rootstocks are in their initial phases.
  • Antimicrobial treatment of HLB. Quite a few molecules have successfully killed Liberibacter in the greenhouse. Future testing (about a year away) will experiment with field application.
  • RNAi treatments. These treatments may disrupt Asian citrus psyllids via a non-transgenic approach.

What’s Next For the Citrus Industry

Despite the challenges ahead, the citrus industry continues to forge ahead, more determined than ever to nix HLB from the groves for good.

Need help developing your citrus operation? Our Accelerate Land Loan offers quick and flexible financing that can help support you in your re-planting efforts or expand your groves. Get started by estimating your loan payments with our farm loan calculator.

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