Citrus Research Board
Strategic Planning Summary
Develop knowledge and build systems for grower vitality. Focus on quality assurance, clonal protection, production research, variety development, and grower / public education.
- Provide benefits to all growers who contribute to the organization
- Base knowledge and systems on sound science
- Maximize benefit from resources invested
- Develop/provide tools that enhance the industry’s ability to deliver safe quality product to the marketplace that are responsive to consumers
- Communicate with stakeholders
The priorities for the Citrus Research Program have been realigned to meet the challenges facing citrus growers in California. The objective of the program is to be reactive to immediate threats and planning for future threats to the economic production of citrus. To meet these challenges the Board has chosen three areas of concentration,
This is the portion of the program that deals with the security of plant material introduced to California from outside the state. Currently the Citrus Clonal Protection Program serves this role. With the potential introduction of new diseases such as Huanglongbing (HLB), Citrus Leprosis, and Citrus Variegated Chlorosis (CVC) the program is critical to assure a safe supply of budwood to the citrus nursery industry. Incorporated in this section will be the need for development of new diagnostic tools and systems to increase the capacity of field testing of plant pathogens.
Market security is defined as having open and free access to all markets. Crop protection tools must comply with all international Maximum Residue Level’s, and non-tariff trade barriers must be held to a minimum. When barriers are enacted the program will respond with scientific information to address the concerns of the trading partners. Currently the California Citrus Quality Council (CCQC) operates under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Citrus Research Program to conduct many of the activities under this section but the research program will also continue to provide data to the issues as well. Future research projects will be conducted to assure adequate data to support the industry positions dealing with such activities.
Invasive pests have been an increasing sector of the Programs activities and will continue to be a major focus. The principles of the program will be Exclusion, Early Detection, Rapid Response, and Eradication. Research programs aimed at early detection and rapid response of insects and diseases will be the main priority for this sector. Currently, several invasive pets top the priority list. They are the Light Brown Apple Moth, Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing complex,, Citrus Variegated Chlorosis, Tephrided Fruit Flies, and Brown Citrus Aphid. This list will continue to be updated as other insects and diseases are tracked around the world.
The Program will seek to provide data to support regulatory systems such as exclusion of certain insects and plant diseases, need for air quality regulations, impact of air quality on production of citrus, water quality regulations that are based on sound science, food safety and GAP regulations, and any other issues that may arise from the regulatory community.
New Emerging Issues
The Program will support activities that will provide long range predictions of new issues that will require scientific data to support action programs. Examples are Food Foresight participation that looks at new and emerging issues in the food industry that will impact how commodities structure their products for market access. This will help in predicting what varieties consumers are looking for and will help guide the New Variety Development program to meet the demands.
Pest management continues to be a major focus for the Program. Biological control programs, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems, pesticide resistance, and pesticide efficacy will remain a component of the program. Disease management will also be a component of the program The Pest management committee has developed a list of target insects and will work with the research community to conduct programs to meet the needs of the industry. Disease management components will look at the impact on crop production and tree health.
New Variety Development
New Variety Development will be aimed and delivering new varieties to the industry to keep pace with the changing markets. Focus will be on selections that will produce well in California climates and provide a product that meets market demands. Additional efforts will be given to rootstocks that will support the varieties and perform I the various soil conditions of the production areas. Support will also be given to programs that will provide disease resistance to the industry and will interface with the various disease management systems. The program will coordinate all new variety trials and assure that data programs are consistent and verifiable.
This sector will focus mainly on the reduction of dependency on hand labor for citrus production. The use of robotic systems for harvesting and crop management will continue to be a major focus of this sector with the goal of reducing hand labor in many areas of production. Additional projects may be sought in canopy management, irrigation technology and efficiency, and plant physiology/plant growth regulators.
CRB Strategic Plan, May, 2008