An Overview of Argentina's Citrus Canker Control Program
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00001880/00001
 Material Information
Title: An Overview of Argentina's Citrus Canker Control Program
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Muraro, Ronald P.
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2001
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Published June 2001."
General Note: "FE 285"
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Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00001880:00001


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An Overview of Argentina's Citrus Canker Control Program1 Ronald P. Muraro, Fritz M. Roka, and Thomas H. Spreen2 1. This is EDIS document FE 285, a publication of the Department of Food and Resource Economics, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Published June 2001. The citrus canker control program information came from visits to Argentina and UF/IFAS and USDA researchers. Please visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu 2. Ronald P. Muraro, professor and extension economist, Department of Food and Resource Economics (Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred, FL); Fritz M. Roka, professor and extension economists, Department of Food and Resource Economics (Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, Immokalee, FL); and Thomas H. Spreen, professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida Cooperative Extension Service/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/University of Florida/Christine Taylor Waddill, Dean. Introduction Citrus canker (Xanthomonas campestris pv. citri) poses a serious threat to the Florida citrus industry. The bacteria disease was first detected in dooryard citrus trees in the Miami-Dade County area during 1995. The disease has since spread to the commercial groves in southwest Florida where more than 870,000 trees have been destroyed since 1998. Florida's current canker control regulatory program is eradication. However, the question has been asked as to what the economic cost/impact would be on Florida's citrus industry if citrus canker became endemic. [Can Florida's citrus industry afford to live with or manage citrus canker?]. This document reviews Argentina's citrus canker program. A companion publication (EDIS, FE 286) estimates the projected cost to Florida's citrus industry if citrus canker were allowed to become endemic. There are three reasons for using citrus canker control programs from Argentina as examples for Florida. First, citrus cultural/production practices in the northeast provinces of Argentina are similar to those in Florida. Second, similar commercial varieties of citrus are grown in Florida and Argentina. Third, climate is similar between Florida and northeastern Argentina. As can be seen in Figures 1 and 2, average monthly temperature and rainfall follow a similar pattern both in Florida and Argentina's Corrientes province. Both production regions average 50 inches, more or less, of rainfall annually. However, Dr. Jack O. Whiteside observed, in a 1988 article, differences with respect to rainfall patterns. The seasonal distribution of rainfall during the emergence of the spring flush is more frequent in Argentina, with a higher possibility for a buildup of inoculum prior to fruit development. In Florida, seasonal rainfall is higher during the summer months when the fruit rind on less susceptible varieties (mandarin and Valencia oranges) are more resistant to citrus canker infection. A Review of Citrus Canker Control Programs in Argentina The northeastern citrus region in Argentina includes the provinces of Entre Rios, Corrientes, and Missiones. Often referred to as the Mesopotamia growing region, its growing and climate conditions are similar to those in Florida. Commercial citrus


An Overview of Argentina's Citrus Canker Control Program 2 Figure 1. Average monthly temperature for Florida (United States of America) and Corrientes (Argentina). Figure 2. Average monthly rainfall for Florida (United States of America) and Corrientes (Argentina). varieties grown include grapefruit, and navel, Valencia, and mandarin oranges. 1970s Citrus Canker Control Programs Citrus canker became a major problem in the Entre Rios, Corrientes, and Missiones provinces in 1974-75. Eradication efforts were begun in 1975 in the Entre Rios province. However, by 1978, citrus canker was so widespread that the eradication efforts were abandoned and control methods were employed. Hindering the control programs for citrus canker during the early years was low grower returns, which resulted in less than adequate spray programs and the abandonment of citrus groves. In particular, grapefruit groves that were neglected allowed a build up of citrus canker bacteria. Researchers from the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), the Florida Department of Agriculture, and Japan visited Argentina and made suggestions for controlling citrus canker. Working together, Argentina and Florida researchers developed the copper spray program being used in Argentina. Also, windbreaks were planted to reduce the spread of citrus canker. During the 1970s, domestic-fresh and fresh exports were the primary market outlets for Argentine citrus, with the balance processed into juice products. 1980s Citrus Canker Control Programs During the 1980s, the trend away from using vigorous rootstocks such as rough lemon continued. Citrus canker control programs included additional copper sprays and the use of windbreaks. The average size of the citrus blocks surrounded by windbreaks was, more or less, 20 acres. Varieties grown were navel and Valencia oranges, mandarin tangerines, and some grapefruit. The fruit was marketed mostly in the domestic fresh markets with some fresh exports to Europe, with the balance of the fruit processed into juice products. Citrus Canker Control Programs from 1990 to 1997 In the 1990s, Argentine citrus growers changed to varieties less susceptible to citrus canker (i.e., less grapefruit and early/Navel oranges). This change was partly market driven (i.e., lower grower returns due to large world supply of these varieties). However, the higher cost of maintaining quality export marketable fresh fruit also influenced a change to other varieties such as mandarin tangerines and Valencia oranges. Additional copper sprays and windbreaks continued to be used by growers to control citrus canker. Domestic and export fresh markets were the primary commercial market outlets, with the balance of the fruit processed into juice. Citrus Canker control Program After 1997 Since 1997, the European common market has placed increased restrictions and regulations on citrus grown in canker endemic areas. Before 1997, major European markets such as France and Germany had their own import regulations with respect to fresh


An Overview of Argentina's Citrus Canker Control Program 3 citrus. However, with the full implementation of the European common market (ECM), all countries of the ECM were required to impose the fresh citrus import regulations of the citrus producing countries within the ECM (i.e., Italy and Spain). In order to export fresh fruit to Europe, the fruit had to be harvested from certified canker-free blocks. Certified blocks were inspected three times prior to harvest and a final inspection occurred during the packing operation. Certification increased grove-care costs because of additional copper sprays and more windbreaks that decreased block sizes to between five and 10 acres. Cost of packing operation increased because of inspection fees and regulations that prohibited the co-mingling of certified and non-certified fruit. All certification costs are currently charged to the citrus grower. As a result of these new export regulations, early variety oranges, navels, and grapefruit are no longer exported to Europe. Although Argentina has been developing the Asian export market, the domestic fresh market is now the primary market outlet for Argentine citrus grown in the northeast provinces. References Canteros, Nellie. "Control and eradication of citrus canker in Argentina." INTA. Corrientes, Argentina. Paper presented at the International Citrus Research Workshop in Fort Pierce, Florida. June 2000. Muraro, Ronald P. "A Review of Argentinas Citrus Canker Control Program with Cost Estimates for a Similar Program in Florida." Florida Cooperative Extension Service Bulletin 234. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. April 1986. Muraro, Ronald P. Summary notes of discussions with growers from an August 1999 visit to Argentina's northeast citrus production region. August 1999.