Aug. 30, 2019
By Leonardo Gottems, Reporter for AgroPages
Brazil's Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund) has managed to produce three million Tamarixia radiata wasps to be used for the biological control of psyllids, the insect responsible for transmitting greening, considered the worst citrus disease in the world.
This three million mark was reached in July 2019, after four years of production at the Fundecitrus Biological Control Laboratory, created in 2015. According to the agency, T. radiata is highly efficient, since only one female can control up to 400 psyllids.
Research from the Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture - ESALQ / USP has shown that up to 70% of the pest population can be eliminated. In addition, the release of wasps is a form of sustainable control, as it does not cause environmental imbalance, revealed Fundecitrus.
The Fundecitrus Biological Control Laboratory has the capacity to create up to 100,000 T. radiata per month. It is supported by Bayer CropScience as part of the “Citrus Unidos” partnership established between the institutions with the goal of developing new sustainable products and technologies.
“Today, the production of the Biological Control Laboratory is used to manage greening in the external areas of farms and released in the citrus park by the Fundecitrus regional teams,” said biologist, Clara Delgado, responsible for the fund's laboratory.
The areas for the release of wasps have been identified by the Fundecitrus Phytosanitary Alert, a system that detects the locations and moments that present a high psyllid population in the citrus park in the state of São Paulo and the Triangle and Southwest Region of the state of Minas Gerais.