United Front For Control

Addressing Area Issues

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The most popular acronym floating around the citrus world these days is CHMAs, otherwise know as citrus health management areas. In fact, the No. 1 recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences to the industry was that growers should cooperate on an areawide basis to control the citrus psyllid. This is exactly what CHMAs are designed to do.

Dr. Michael Rogers, UF/IFAS, has been helping coordinate growers and says early data shows the increased effectiveness of controlling the psyllid in large blocks rather than individual growers acting alone. He presented these findings during the Florida Citrus Show in Ft. Pierce.

Easy To Kill, Hard To Control

“One of the biggest problems for growers working alone is they’ll apply an insecticide to control psyllids and might see re-infestation within a week or two from psyllids moving in from neighboring groves,” he says. “There has been a long history of these type of areawide-management programs for pests in other crops. We are applying this knowledge to CHMAs to increase the effectiveness of our psyllid control sprays and reduce the cost to our growers by reducing the number of applications required to control psyllid populations.”

Cooperation Key

Getting CHMAs Started

Growers interested in starting or joining a CHMA should contact their local Extension agent for more information. For new CHMAs, a planning meeting will be set up to identify potential groves to include and to define the area on a geographic map. In addition, a tentative psyllid control program will be discussed to ensure similar modes of action are used by participating growers.

Comparing Notes

When considering going it alone or joining a CHMA, the following points should be taken into account.

Grove-By-Grove Approach

  • Targets only portion of pest population
  • Refugia left for immigrants, requiring reapplication of insecticides
  • Target pests with limited mobility
  • Low-value crop with medium-to-high pest tolerance
  • Reactive approach to pest presence
  • Complicates pesticide resistance management

Areawide Approach

– Targets entire population
– No refugia, requiring less insecticide use
– Target pests with high mobility
– High-value crop with low pest tolerance (i.e. vector/greening)
– Proactive approach to pest presence
– Facilitates pesticide resistance management

Special thanks to KeyPlex for sponsoring Florida Citrus Show Extended Content Coverage.