The Organic Center is currently working with the University of Florida, the University of California, Riverside, and several citrus growers and industry members to conduct a national review of how citrus greening disease is impacting organic growers and other industry members. The information will be used to develop a large-scale holistic research project proposal targeted toward protecting organic citrus growers from citrus greening, slowing the spread, and reducing damage to currently infected groves.
Since it was first discovered in the United States in 2005, the bacterial disease known as citrus greening, or huanglongbing (HLB), has devastated millions of acres of citrus crops throughout this country and abroad, ravaging citrus groves in Asia, Africa and South America.
Citrus greening has impacted conventional and organic growers alike, but its injury to organic growers has been especially deep because most of the efforts underway to keep the deadly disease in check involve methods that are prohibited in organic production. In addition, the research and work that have been done on organic-compliant ways to fight citrus greening have usually been conducted in non-organic settings and in combination with treatments prohibited by the organic standards. The result is that critical information is not easily accessible to organic farmers and educators.
This project will gather information on current organic-compliant strategies used to combat HLB, their successes and challenges. From this assessment, The Organic Center will develop and disseminate research priorities to build additional funding proposals to advance progress in fighting HLB in organic systems, and in citrus as a whole.
Be a part of the effort to save organic citrus. Fill out the survey to have your voice help build a research program that will best support organic citrus.
Editor’s note: Learn more about how one organic citrus grower in Florida manages Asian citrus psyllids, the pests responsible for transmitting citrus greening.
Source: The Organic Center
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