USDA Providing $1 million to Jump Start Citrus
The U.S. Department of Agriculture TODAY announced the creation of a new, unified emergency response
framework to address Huanglongbing (HLB). This new framework will allow USDA
and its many partners to better coordinate HLB resources, share information and
develop operational strategies to maximize effectiveness.
"USDA listened to the citrus industry's request for
more urgency and greater coordination on the response to HLB and is
implementing an emergency response structure," said Secretary Tom Vilsack. "To jump start this
initiative and affirm our commitment to industry, USDA is also providing $1
million to be used in support of research projects that can bring practical and
short-term solutions to the growers in their efforts to combat this disease.
Through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative of the Farm
Bill, USDA has provided $9 million in research to blocking the ability of
insects to spread HLB to healthy trees. We need Congress to quickly pass a new
Farm, Food, and Jobs Bill that continues to support this kind of research to
protect a crop worth more than $3 billion in the last harvest."
The new framework will bring together USDA's Animal and
Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), along with state
departments of agriculture and the citrus industry into a Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) Group for HLB.
It will provide industry with a single contact for all the federal and state
entities that work on citrus issues and better enable the collective to
collaborate on policy decisions, establish priorities, allocate critical
resources, and collect, analyze, and disseminate information.
The HLB MAC Group will also help coordinate Federal research
with industry's efforts to complement and fill research gaps, reduce
unnecessary duplication, speed progress and more quickly provide practical
tools for citrus growers to use.
HLB, also known as citrus greening, is named for the green,
misshapen, and bitter-tasting fruit it causes. While this bacterial disease
poses no danger to humans or animals, it has devastated millions of acres of
citrus crops throughout the United States and abroad. In the United States, the
entire States of Florida and Georgia are under quarantine for HLB, and portions
of California, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas are also under quarantine
for the disease. The U.S. Territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin
Islands are under HLB quarantines as well.
Labels: Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) Group for HLB, Specialty Crop Research Initiative of the Farm Bill, USDA Jump Start Citrus Response Framework, USDA Multi-Agency Emergency Response Framework to Combat HLB