A groundbreaking solution has emerged in the ongoing battle to save the world’s citrus industry from the devastating impacts of citrus greening disease, also known as Huanglongbing (HLB). Invaio Sciences, a bio platform company at the forefront of nature-positive agriculture, has achieved a significant milestone with the approval of its Citrus Health solution by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Community Services (FDACS). This solution offers new hope to citrus growers and promises to revolutionize the management of citrus orchards.
Citrus greening, caused by the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus and spread by the Asian citrus psyllid, has wreaked havoc on citrus crops in Florida since 2006. This disease has resulted in staggering losses in yields and profits, posing a significant threat to the citrus industry’s viability. However, Invaio Sciences’ Citrus Health solution, developed under the regulatory framework of section 24(c) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), presents a promising breakthrough.
Ned Hancock, a fifth-generation citrus grower, captures the sentiment of many in the industry: “I’m excited about what Invaio is doing. This is probably the first time our industry has seen truly new technology in my lifetime. I see this as potentially revolutionizing the way we manage citrus.”
Central to Invaio’s solution is the innovative delivery of ArborBiotic™1 using the company’s proprietary application technology, Trecise™. Unlike traditional injection treatments, Trecise™ offers a minimally invasive approach that requires 90% less active ingredient, as it delivers the solution directly into the tree’s vascular system. This unique method has already demonstrated its effectiveness, with trials indicating an average yield increase of 30% after just one treatment. The solution has also shown improvements in BRIX levels (a measure of fruit sweetness) and a reduction in fruit drop.
Ignacio Martinez, Founding CEO of Invaio, emphasizes the significance of the breakthrough: “Invaio’s Trecise™ technology offers a real breakthrough in the fight against citrus greening, a disease that has devastated the industry for more than 15 years. This is the first of many Invaio technologies to benefit growers, crops, and the environment.”
The advantages of the Trecise™ system extend beyond its efficacy. The system’s 120-day pre-harvest interval is notably 60 days shorter than conventional injection treatments, allowing for more flexible scheduling. Moreover, Trecise™ eliminates the need for drilling, making it particularly suitable for young trees that previously had limited treatment options. The localized delivery mechanism minimizes active ingredient usage while maintaining efficacy, reducing the risks of misapplication and residue buildup. Notably, the closed-system design of Trecise™ significantly reduces the exposure risk for workers and the environment, marking a step forward in safety standards.
Dave Gerrard, Head of Commercial US at Invaio, expresses optimism for the future of Florida’s citrus industry: “We’re excited to launch our Trecise™ system and are optimistic about the future of Florida’s citrus industry. With our initial focus on treating young and non-bearing trees, we hope to show that growers can get trees to bearing age with minimal disease symptoms and build confidence for replanting.”
Invaio Sciences, founded by Flagship Pioneering, is pioneering agricultural solutions and aligning with consumer demands for sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. By harnessing advancements in biology and digital innovation, Invaio is driving the transition to nature-positive agriculture, benefitting both farmers and the environment. With a portfolio of innovative solutions, Invaio is set to reshape the landscape of modern agriculture.
The approval of Invaio’s Citrus Health solution marks a significant turning point in the battle against citrus greening, offering a glimmer of hope to citrus growers in Florida and beyond. As the industry grapples with the challenges posed by this devastating disease, Invaio Sciences’ breakthrough technology offers a beacon of innovation that could pave the way for a more resilient and productive citrus industry.
Image provided by the DAFF