Biochar and Citrus Greening Disease
Can biochar help mitigate damages from huanglongbing or citrus greening disease that has been so costly to the Florida citrus industry? Ag Information Network’s Patrick Cavanaugh has the report.
Cavanaugh… “Finding a way to help citrus growers. It will take many different approaches, could a carbon source known as biochar help? There are many sources of biochars, such as what is leftover on the floor of a forest fire. And it's been shown that when applied to Florida's sandy soils, it improves soil health. In fact, biochar has been shown to be an impressive soil amendment, as it increases soil fertility, and productivity, all of which can help a citrus tree ward off citrus greening. Citrus greening damages a citrus tree's roots, creating a problem for water and nutrient uptake. University of Florida researchers along with growers found that adequate irrigation, precision fertilization, and focusing on soil health can help with citrus greening. Citrus greening is a disease affecting citrus production worldwide. The fatal disease affects all citrus cultivars and causes tree decline, and it's a serious threat to the Florida citrus industry. The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is the leading institution trying to find a cure to the problem.”
That was Patrick Cavanaugh reporting. Also important to stop the spread of this disease is to control its insect pest vector, the Asian Citrus Psyllid.