Texas Citrus Pest and Disease Management Corporation and Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center Receive $4 Million Investment for HLB Research; Dale Murden and Dr. Mamoudou Sétamou Discuss


Fri. July 16th, 2021
- by Lilian Diep     

MISSION, TX - Pests and diseases are issues we all feel across the industry, so when we hear advancements to eradicate this hurdle, we here at ANUK can’t help but give a toast! Recently, the Texas Citrus Pest and Disease Management Corporation (TCPDMC), a part of The Texas Citrus Industry, and Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center (TAMUK) were awarded $4,061,941 in funding from the Huanglongbing Multi-Agency Coordination Group (HLB MAC). This CRaFT project is designed to enhance the sustainability of citrus production via multi-pronged grove management strategies in Texas.

Dale Murden, Grower and President, Texas Citrus Mutual (Photo credit: Texas Farm Bureau)“Texas citrus growers have been in the battle with HLB since 2012. As growers, we learn from each other in every citrus-producing state, and we know that we are all in this fight together,” said Dale Murden, Grower and President of non-profit trade association Texas Citrus Mutual, which represents the interests of the Texas citrus growers. “We are hopeful that we can show positive results with this funding in Texas, as Florida has in leading the charge, while scientists look for cures to this devastating disease.”

This grower participatory program will evaluate a comprehensive multi-component program. According to the release, strategies include enhancing tree growth in newly established groves via multiple grove floor management strategies. Testing various psyllid management approaches involving mainly exclusion via individual protective covers (i.e. defender bags) and CUPS or border management approaches with living or artificial windbreaks (psyllid control). In addition, assessing the performance of different HLB tolerant rootstocks and scions under Texas conditions as well as increasing budwood availability to support the industry’s replanting efforts would prove useful.

The Texas Citrus Pest and Disease Management Corporation (TCPDMC), a part of The Texas Citrus Industry, and Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center (TAMUK) were awarded $4,061,941 in funding from the Huanglongbing Multi-Agency Coordination Group

Huanglongbing, or citrus greening, is a disease caused by a vector-transmitted pathogen. It occurs as a result of Asian citrus psyllids feeding on citrus leaves and stems. As a result, the psyllids can then infect citrus trees with a bacteria that causes the HLB disease, which can kill the citrus tree.

Dr. Mamoudou Sétamou, Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center (Photo credit: Texas A&M University-Kingsville)“This funding support is timely, and it will greatly assist the Texas Citrus industry recover from recent disasters,” said Dr. Mamoudou Sétamou of the TAMUK Citrus Center. “For three consecutive years from 2019 to 2020, the Texas citrus industry has faced serious flooding that has crippled citrus groves already affected by HLB. The February 2021 freeze gave a knockout blow to some groves that could not recover. Funds provided through this CRaFT project will be used to assist citrus growers plant 1,000 new acres using the tested and sustainable novel planting design of groves. This will contribute somehow to the revival of the Texas citrus industry.”

Stay in the know with ANUK as we continue to report on the latest developments in the industry.

The Texas Citrus IndustryTexas Citrus Pest and Disease Management Corporation Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center

 
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