Citrus Survey Part of Larger Ongoing Research Project

Brian German Fruits & Vegetables, Industry

Industry members are being asked to provide information as part of an ongoing citrus survey. The survey centers on growers’ knowledge of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and Huanglongbing (HLB). Researchers are primarily interested in how industry members make management decisions and what types of information they base their decisions on. The survey is part of a broader project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension.

Citrus Survey

“One of the objects or goals is to generate or produce useful extension and outreach with whatever management strategies that might come forward to deal with HLB once one is discovered,” said Jonathan Kaplan, Professor of Economics at Sacramento State. “The idea is to build better extension resources, where best to provide those resources, and what sort of information growers are looking for to help them make those decisions.”

The overall project is based out of the University of California, Riverside, and includes a wide variety of collaborators. Extension specialists, plant pathologists, geneticists, and engineers from multiple universities are all involved in the research project. The team is looking into biocontrol of the bacteria that causes HLB. “We’re working with them, collaborating with those folks to find out how effective those treatments might be down the road given that adoption is a big part of any strategy to combat some infectious disease like this,” said Kaplan.

The citrus survey will remain available for a few months to give industry members ample opportunity to participate. Kaplan noted that future surveys are also likely to be released in the future. Progress on the overall project is expected to be made available as research findings are determined. The underlying goal is to develop viable solutions to help citrus growers combat the threat that ACP and HLB pose to the industry.

“We’re going to be looking at the economic consequences of not adopting strategies, or conversely what are the benefits to growers of adopting these strategies that may be developed or are in the process of being developed,” Kaplan noted. “The cure can’t be worse than the problem and we don’t want to recommend something that’s so cost-prohibitive that by adopting those practices themselves the growers are going to be even worse off than they would be with the disease.”

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West