2010 Annual Report
Citrus canker is a bacterial disease of all citrus and its occurrence in Florida has put the fresh market industry under strict quarantine. The bacterial inoculum is spread by wind and rain. In Florida, this means that the inoculum is most dense when the fruit and leaves are most susceptible. In this study we are spraying a light weight carnauba wax on highly susceptible grapefruit and less sensitive tangerine trees. We are using several experimental mixes and spraying on a commercial schedule. This study will take more than one season to have enough data but preliminary trends should be visible this fall when the fruit are harvested. A reduction in the inoculum in the groves over time will decrease the amount of disease and make it more manageable to control. This should result in lifting of some of the fresh fruit restrictions for shipping. Preliminary data show that preharvest carnauba wax sprays combined with pesticides can significantly reduce citrus canker in the field and has an even greater effect on the reduction of melanose. With the advent of blackspot threatening Florida citrus, this technology has applications for several diseases threatening the State, and has resulted in a patent application. This is an ongoing study. MONITORING: Progress was monitored by e-mail, phone calls and meetings.