Unique perspective on HLB in Argentina at Citrus Tech Forum
11 December 2018
Citrus Tech Forum delegates will receive a unique perspective on both the Argentinian citrus industry and its approach to huanglongbing disease (HLB) and the citrus psyllid (ACP), both of which have entered Argentina. Ing.Agr. Beatriz Stein is the Director of the Citrus Sanitation Centre, which is responsible for the provision of certified citrus material for northwest Argentina. She has also seen firsthand her country’s re-entry into several important export markets – evaluating the arrival of lemon from Tucuman to Japan earlier this century, and evaluating the quality of lemons in the USA when this market was reopened to northwest Argentina this year. In 2015, Argentina had 130,000 hectares planted to citrus. It produced 3.27 million tonnes of citrus in 2015–16, making it the world’s ninth largest citrus growing country. The country is planting more lemons and less oranges and grapefruit, due primarily to the higher value of lemon fresh fruit and by-products, including essential oils the last years. It now produces around 70 per cent of all lemons in the southern hemisphere and 22 per cent of all lemons globally. Citrus is grown in 10 out of 23 provinces in Argentina and the provinces within the two citrus-growing regions of Argentina are currently under one of the following categories: • Both ACP and HLB are present • ACP is present, but no HLB has been detected • Neither ACP nor HLB has been detected HLB has been present in Argentina since 2012 in the northeast citrus producing region. The first detection of HLB was in backyard trees north of Misiones province, very close to the border with Brazil and Paraguay. It has spread throughout this province and to neighboring provinces. ACP was also detected last summer in Entre Rios, another important citrus producing province. “Misiones, the province most affected has around 6000ha, mainly small size orchards of tangerines and oranges,” Ing. Stein said. “HLB positive plants were detected in commercial orchards one year ago. This is maybe why HLB has not yet had an impact on production and exports,” Ing. Stein said. Ing. Stein said Tucuman is the most important lemon producing province and this is free of both ACP and HLB. While only one region has both ACP and HLB, the other region is aggressively surveying for ACP and HLB. The efforts to slow down and/or stop the spread of ACP and HLB include an education and vehicle control campaign that prevents the shipping of unprocessed fruit across province borders. Thus, there are vehicle border phytosanitary controls.
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