Estimate of Yield Loss from the Citrus Nematode in Texas Grapefruit


  • L. W. Timmer
  • R. M. Davis


Chemical control of the citrus nematode, Tylenchulus semipenetrans Cobb, has consistently increased yield of grapefruit on sour orange rootstock in Texas. In this study, data from chemical control tests conducted from 1973 to 1980 were analyzed to determine the relationship between nematode counts and grapefruit yield and fruit size. The correlation between yield and nematode counts was negative (r = -0.47) and highly significant (P 0.01). The data best fit the exponential decay curve: y = 160.3e^(-0.0000429) where y = yield in kg/tree and x = nematodes/100 cm³ of soil. The correlation between fruit size and nematode counts was not significant because yield and fruit size were inversely related. Yield loss in an average untreated orchard was estimated to be 12.4 tons/ha. Economic loss to citrus nematode in Texas grapefruit, assuming no treatment and an average on-tree price of $60/ton, was estimated to be $13.2 million annually. Key words: Tylenchulus semipenetrans, control, economics.