$4M Awarded to the Texas Citrus Pest and Disease Management Corporation for HLB Research

The Texas Citrus Pest and Disease Management Corporation (TCPDMC) and Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center (TAMUK) was 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.

“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. 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.” Dale Murden, Grower and President of Texas Citrus Mutual

This grower participatory program will evaluate a comprehensive multi-component program. Strategies include enhancing tree growth in newly established groves via various 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). 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.

“This funding support is timely and it will greatly assist the Texas Citrus industry recover from recent disasters. 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” said Dr. Mamoudou Sétamou of the TAMUK Citrus Center.

The Texas Citrus Pest and Disease Management Corporation, Inc., a Texas nonprofit corporation, is recognized by the Texas Department of Agriculture as the entity to plan, carry out, and operate suppression programs to manage and control pests and diseases in citrus plants in the state of Texas since 2016. For more information, visit www.texascitrusindustry.com