FELDA, Fla., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Citrus farmers in Florida could have their crops saved by the same chemical that is in aspirin, a report said.
A citrus grower in Orange County, Maury Boyd, is spraying thousands of his trees with nutrients, minerals and salicylic acid to help curb the spread of citrus greening across the Citrus Belt, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported Monday.
Citrus greening, which includes yellowing of tree limbs or mottling of all or part of leaves, has been spreading throughout Florida orange groves for at least three years, scientists say.
The newspaper reported that scientists confirmed citrus greening in Boyd's grove in 2006. Pathologists now say that following the treatments that his trees are healthier.
"For two years, we've been proactive," Boyd said, adding that the salicylic acid he adds to the sprays could be a key to protecting his grove, the newspaper reported.
An associate professor of citrus physiology with the University of Florida's Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, Robert Ebel, said controlled studies to determine if the salicylic treatments work takes time.
Scientists are also investigating if guava plants may give off some compound that inhibits the spread of citrus greening.