The use of insecticides in Florida citrus groves has increased significantly in the last several years, largely as a result of the introduction of exotic insect pests that vector recently introduced citrus pathogens. Examples of these are the brown citrus aphid (Toxoptera citricida Kirkaldy) that transmits citrus tristeza virus (Roistacher and Bar-Joseph, 1987), the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama) that transmits Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticas and C. L. americanum, causal agents of the huanglongbing (citrus greening) disease (Garnier and Bové, 1978), and the citrus leafminer (Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton), which may predispose trees to Xanthomonas axonopodis Starr, and Garces emend. Vauterin et al., pr. citri, the causal agent of citrus canker (Hill, 1918). Two of the most commonly used insecticides on young trees are Temik (aldicarb) and Admire (imidacloprid). Both Temik (Bullock, 1989; French and Timmer, 1979) and Admire (Powell et al., 2006, 2007) have been shown to control arthropods in citrus.
In addition to controlling certain arthropods (especially mites), Temik has been reported to enhance productivity of mature citrus trees (Knapp et al., 1982; Wheaton et al., 1985) and growth of young Hamlin orange trees (Bullock and Pelosi, 1992). In this study, we investigated the effect of several insecticide treatments, including Temik, Admire, and Meta-Systox-R, on growth and yield of newly planted, young ‘Valencia’ sweet orange trees.
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