Optimizing Trunk-Injection Therapies a Key Focus of Citrus Seminars

The biggest development in the fight against HLB has been the introduction of trunk injection of oxytetracycline (OTC). In the second year of applications, researchers and growers are getting a better handle on the best practices for using the OTC products.

Optimizing OTC trunk injections will be addressed by several speakers during the Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo scheduled for Aug. 21–22 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.

Ute Albrecht, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) plant physiologist, will share her latest data collected in field trials aimed at optimizing OTC applications. Tripti Vashisth, UF/IFAS horticulturalist, will speak about optimizing irrigation and how proper nutrition and the use of plant growth regulators will be important tools next season when growers will pause their OTC applications per the product labels. She also will provide results from a trial in which gibberellic acid was applied to the soil via chemigation.

Citrus Research and Education Center Director Michael Rogers will moderate a UF/IFAS researcher panel discussion that will include Albrecht, Vashisth, Davie Kadyampakeni, Megan Dewdney and Jim Graham. The panel will address the off-year of OTC and what growers can do in their groves to maximize tree health.

On the morning of Aug. 22, another information-packed citrus seminar is planned. Brian Scully, former director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce, will be on hand to speak about the “Scully List” of potential candidates for trunk-injection alternatives to OTC. Several materials on his list are showing real promise.

UF/IFAS citrus economist Ariel Singerman will be speaking on the economics of OTC injections and break-even yield analysis.