In the coming months, Florida Grower’s Citrus Achievement Award winner Jerry Newlin will address important issues of the day. This month, Orange-Co’s vice president of citrus operations discusses psyllid control and using low-volume application on the farm.
What have you found to be most effective in controlling the psyllid?
Newlin: “In fall 2007, growers in Northeast DeSoto County, where most of our groves are, sprayed dimethoate in a three-week period by airplane and ground rigs over about 25,000 acres. The results were outstanding. Therefore, we duplicated this over the last two years with similar results.”
How have you targeted low-volume sprays on your operation?
Newlin: “We have used the low-volume technique of spraying in isolated ‘hot spot’ areas of the grove so far. Our plan is to expand low-volume spraying for complete applications so we can cover the entire grove faster. We are hitting areas where we want to intensify our control between more conventional applications. When you’re applying nutritionals and copper for canker, it’s recommended to use more water as a carrier for coverage, but this slows down the application. Low-volume allows you to keep control of the psyllid while you’re carrying out the other spray programs at a low cost.
“We are still learning how to best use this technology. Because of logistics, we are running the low-volume sprayers at night and testing what materials and adjuvants work the best. We hope to have three low-volume sprayers running next season to hit those hot spot areas. With three sprayers, we could cover 1,000 acres per day.”