The EPA has re-issued specific exemptions under its Section 18 provisions, which will allow Florida citrus growers to again apply three antimicrobial products to treat HLB-infected trees. The original Section 18 had expired at the end of 2016.
The exemption allows the foliar application of the antibiotics; streptomycin sulfate (FireWall 50WP, AgroSource Inc.), oxytetracycline hydrochloride (FireLine 17WP, AgroSource Inc.), and oxytetracycline calcium complex (Mycoshield, Nufarm Americas Inc.). The new exemption will expire on Dec. 31, 2017.
Growers hope the three products will improve the declining health of HLB-infected trees, reduce fruit drop, and improve yields and quality.