Use of drones is an efficient alternative against greening

Technology was the topic of a lecture by Fundecitrus researcher Marcelo Miranda on the second day of the 44th Citrus Week

01.06.2023 | 14:04 (UTC -3)
fundecitrus
Technology was the topic of a lecture by Fundecitrus researcher Marcelo Miranda on the second day of the 44th Citrus Week
Technology was the topic of a lecture by Fundecitrus researcher Marcelo Miranda on the second day of the 44th Citrus Week

The 44th Citriculture Week/48th Expocitros, in Cordeirópolis (SP), brought another day of lectures for professionals in the sector to expand knowledge and good practices in orchards. On the afternoon of this Wednesday (31), within the “Innovation and Sustainability” panel, Fundecitrus researcher Marcelo Miranda presented a lecture on the perspectives of using drones in orchard management, especially in the chemical control of the insect that transmits greening.

In studies presented by the researcher, applications with this technology proved to be effective in controlling adult insects, reaching mortality rates above 80%. The work was pioneering in 2021, as there was no record of the use of drones for chemical control of the psyllid in western citrus farming. The use of drones plays an aggregating role in monitoring cultivation, soil mapping and application of inputs. “We are talking about precision agriculture, capable of contributing very positively to the management that the citrus grower already carries out in the orchard to enhance the results in pest control, especially the psyllid, which is the biggest challenge in citrus farming”, highlights the researcher .

Psyllid control

According to studies carried out by Fundecitrus, drones for controlling the insect that transmits greening have the capacity to spray 60 to 80 hectares per day. It can also be used in the border strip (regardless of the planting direction and relief) and specific plots (with a higher psyllid population or difficult to access, for example)

Challenges

The annual survey of the incidence of greening carried out by Fundecitrus indicates that the average incidence of the disease rose from 22,37%, in 2021, to 24,42% in 2022 throughout the citrus belt of São Paulo and Triângulo/Southwest Mineiro. A growth of 9,16%. The situation requires more effort from citrus growers for more effective control. “The drone represents another step towards maintaining the health and competitiveness of Brazilian citrus farming. The technology has already been validated, however research is still ongoing and expectations are promising for the sector”, he concludes.

LS Tractor February