California’s Citrus Research and Field Trials (CA-CRaFT) program is now accepting Cycle 2 applications from commercial growers. This initiative aims to showcase the efficacy of additional control measures against the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). ACP is the carrier of the Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus bacterium causing huanglongbing (HLB) disease in citrus.
For Cycle 2, applications will be accepted until program capacity is reached with priority given to those applications received by March 15. Apply here.
The Citrus Research Board’s (CRB) CA-CRaFT initiative seeks participation from commercially managed citrus groves in California, subject to the implementation of specified mitigations and adherence to the overall experimental design. Both organic and conventional citrus growers are encouraged to submit applications.
Grove selection criteria will consider existing management practices, with a preference for those actively utilizing ACP management in accordance with the University of California’s Integrated Pest Management (UC IPM) guidelines. Priority consideration will be accorded to California citrus groves facing sustained psyllid pressures or located in close proximity to significant psyllid risk factors, such as transportation corridors and residential areas. Citrus producers can apply without any limitations on the total acreage. Applications for multiple blocks or groves are welcomed.
Project support is being offered for the following mitigations:
Implementing barrier mesh fencing along grove borders to hinder ACP entry
Creating natural windbreaks using living vegetation along grove borders to mitigate psyllid movement
Cultivating trap crops, like the curry leaf tree, to attract and control psyllid populations
- Introducing specific biological control agents as a whole grove treatment to suppress ACP populations, regularly assessing their impact and effectiveness, and encouraging conservation and the release of generalist predators like syrphid flies, lacewings and lady beetles
- Implementing targeted insecticide treatments, such as border sprays for ACP control or whole grove treatments with insecticide-based ant baits for ant control, or utilizing border treatments with psyllid repellents like kaolin clay or diatomaceous earth.
Compensation is exclusively provided to growers implementing endorsed additional preventative or threshold-based mitigations as outlined above.
Participants will receive annual assistance on a per-acre basis to cover expenses related to data collection and field access for scouts. This applies to both control plots and all plots receiving additional CRaFT-endorsed mitigations as part of the program.
Growers are allowed to conduct regular scheduled plot maintenance and apply various treatments for pests, including ACP, in all plots, including control plots. However, they will not receive compensation for these routine treatments that fall outside of program priorities endorsed by CA-CRaFT.
The CRB will be hosting webinars on the CA-CRaFT program and its application process on:
For more details on California CRaFT, contact Ariana Gehrig at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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