Disease Management Sprays Have Doubled and Quadrupled in Florida Citrus Groves since 2004 Due to New Exotic Pests

Citrus Canker

Citrus Canker

Before 2004, Florida citrus growers were concerned with only a few diseases. Thanks to hurricanes and tropical storms, new exotic disease organisms have been spread around the state. As a result, Florida citrus growers have had to dramatically increase sprays to manage disease: sprays for processed juice fruit have quadrupled and sprays for fresh grapefruit have doubled.

“The Florida example begins before 2004 when citrus tristeza and blight-decline were the major disease problems. Average annual sprays were two for processed juice fruit and six sprays for fresh market grapefruit. After the 2004-05 hurricanes and the ending of the citrus canker eradication program in 2006, the number of sprays to manage canker and other diseases increased to three or four sprays for processed juice fruit and 10 sprays for fresh grapefruit. With the 2005 discovery of huanglongbing (HLB) in Florida and citrus black spot in 2010, costs continued to increase. Now the annual spray program includes eight or nine sprays for processed juice fruit and 14 for fresh market grapefruit.”

Author: Muraro, R. P.
Affiliation: University of Florida, IFAS, Citrus Research and Education Center.
Title: Evolution of citrus disease management programs and their economic implications: the case of Florida’s citrus industry.
Source: Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society. 2012. 125:126-129.

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