California to Launch CRaFT Project

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

California

The Citrus Research Board (CRB) has been awarded $3,438,059 in funding from the Huanglongbing Multi-Agency Coordination Group (HLB MAC) to support its California-focused Citrus Research and Field Trials (CRaFT).

The overarching goal of the CRaFT project is to demonstrate additional mitigations to improve psyllid control within commercial groves across the various citrus-growing regions in California. This information will inform areawide control efforts and demonstrate the benefits of control mitigation measures currently available to growers for regional, state and national benefit. This project aims to demonstrate reduced psyllid levels (through trap, tap and visual monitoring) within treated groves as a year-by-year measurement and relative to the regional psyllid levels.

“We are excited to develop the first CRaFT project for citrus in California, as this project will bring new energy to the fight against HLB and benefit growers across the state while investing in vital research,” said CRB President Marcy L. Martin.

A group of 10 industry members will steer the project through the CRaFT Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) in conjunction with the CRB. This combined group will work with industry personnel to recruit growers in various regions to implement innovative psyllid management strategies. Growers who apply and are selected will receive reimbursement for costs associated with participation in the program.

The project will be administered over two years by the CRB, with the intent to renew. Efforts in year one will include creating a foundation for the program while conducting trap-based monitoring. Data from these measures will be collected and summarized to demonstrate changes in psyllid populations from resulting mitigation measures. Semiannual grower meetings and quarterly CRaFT TAC meetings will be initiated to review project progress and identify any potential project issues.

Year two will expand on previous efforts to provide data demonstrating changes in psyllid populations from applied mitigation measures. Findings will be summarized and shared with industry members to promote effective treatments.

Source: Citrus Research Board

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