Economic injury levels for Asian citrus psyllid control in process oranges from mature trees with high incidence of huanglongbing
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Cita bibliográficaMonzo C, Stansly PA (2017) Economic injury levels for Asian citrus psyllid control in process oranges from mature trees with high incidence of huanglongbing. PLoS ONE 12(4): e0175333.
The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, is the key pest of citrus wherever it occurs due to its role as vector of huanglongbing (HLB) also known as citrus greening disease. Insecticidal vector control is considered to be the primary strategy for HLB management and is typically intense owing to the severity of this disease. While this approach slows spread and also decreases severity of HLB once the disease is established, economic viability of increasingly frequent sprays is uncertain. Lacking until now were studies evaluating the optimum frequency of insecticide applications to mature trees during the growing season under conditions of high HLB incidence. We related different degrees of insecticide control with ACP abundance and ultimately, with HLB-associated yield losses in two four-year replicated experiments conducted in commercial groves of mature orange trees under high HLB incidence. Decisions on insecticide applications directed at ACP were made by project managers and confined to designated plots according to experimental design. All operational costs as well as production benefits were taken into account for economic analysis. The relationship between management costs, ACP abundance and HLB-associated economic losses based on current prices for process oranges was used to determine the optimum frequency and timing for insecticide applications during the growing season. Trees under the most intensive insecticidal control harbored fewest ACP resulting in greatest yields. The relationship between vector densities and yield loss was significant but differed between the two test orchards, possibly due to varying initial HLB infection levels, ACP populations or cultivar response. Based on these relationships, treatment thresholds during the growing season were obtained as a function of application costs, juice market prices and ACP densities. A conservative threshold for mature trees with high incidence of HLB would help maintain economic viability by reducing excessive insecticide sprays, thereby leaving more room for non-aggressive management tools such as biological control.