A new old tool in the battle against citrus psyllids
In a University of Florida research project, kaolin clay was shown to perform better than foliar insecticides against psyllids. The clay, which changes a leaf’s reflectance, may confuse the insects and prevent them from identifying sprayed leaves as a food source. It also physically affects insects that do land by sticking to their tarsal claws, which impedes their ability to stay on a leaf and feed. Kaolin clay could be an important tool in a grower’s pest control rotation, especially as some psyllids in Florida have shown resistance to neonicotinoids.
The clay must be able to remain on tree leaves, but the study showed coverage persisted through 3 to 5 inches of rain, making it a potentially useful tool in certain seasons or in drier climates like California.
Some growers have used kaolin suspensions for years to control aphids. Adding bentonite to the spray mix improves the clay’s adhesion to plant leaves.
Kaolin clay on citrus leaves
Source: University of Florida
Posted by: Information Services Our Information Services team assists our clients with understanding commodity and ingredient market dynamics. Using our extensive database of intelligence, we also produce regular commodity and commercial market publications covering supply and demand fundamentals, news alerts on events that shape the markets, and resource guides to give you a complete picture of the industries we monitor.