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Citrus Greening and ASP Found in Florida Panhandle

May 1, 2017

FLORIDA – The Huanglongbing (HLB) disease, also known as Yellow Shoot or Citrus Greening, is a fast-spreading disease on the rise in the U.S. According to a report from the University of Florida Extension, there are now cases of the disease on citrus trees in the Panhandle of FL. The carrier of the disease, the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), has also been reported in the area. And where you see ACP, you’ll likely find HLB.

The first sign of infection is the yellowing and thickening of leaves and the corky appearance of veins. The fruit will also appear small, discolored and uneven in growth; the taste may be extra sour. When trees are severely infected, sometimes the only course of action is to dig up the tree altogether.

While the majority of mature, fruit bearing trees in FL groves are assumed infected, there are still opportunities to help prevent disease proliferation. In the case of young, new plantings that are not yet infected, curtailing psyllid populations is priority number one.

The adult insect is winged with black coloration on the tips of the wings, and feeds from a vertical position, with wings rising into the air. Nymphs have a flat, yellow body and leave behind white honeydew and distorted leaves as they feed.

New products, like Minecto® Pro insecticide, which is recommended by Syngenta, are on the market with efficacy on ACP. The premix formulation of cyantraniliprole and abamectin offers robust control of key citrus pests, including Asian citrus psyllids, mites and leafminers. While Minecto Pro is extremely effective against ACP, its mode of action does not interfere with ACP feeding.  If an infected adult has the opportunity to feed on an uninfected plant, HLB can still be transmitted.  Therefore, the best course of action is to get ahead of the insect, so scout early and often and apply insecticides like Minecto Pro to prevent a population from settling in.


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