The U.S. Department of Agriculture is pledging $30 million to fight citrus disease. This news release from the agency says the funding will cover 22 projects to help citrus producers combat Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening, a devastating citrus disease that threatens U.S. citrus production, getting money to near-term and long-term solutions.
“Our HLB Multi-Agency Coordination Group has worked closely with the citrus industry to select and fund projects that we think will make a real difference for growers against HLB,” said [Agriculture Secretary Tom] Vilsack. “Funding these projects through cooperative agreements puts us one step closer to putting real tools to fight this disease into the hands of citrus growers.” Vilsack continued, “Through the CDRE research we are announcing today, we are also investing in long-term solutions to diseases that threaten the long-term survival of the citrus industry.”
USDA’s HLB Multi-Agency Coordination Group funded fifteen projects that support thermotherapy, best management practices, early detection, and pest control efforts for a total of more than $7 million.
Another area that will benefit from the funding is a project that will produce and release the insect Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis as a second biological control agent in California.