Submitted to: Proceedings of the International Conference on the Future of Agriculture: Science, Stewardship and Sustainability
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2007
Publication Date: January 10, 2007
Citation: Lee, R.F. 2007. Beginning with Healthy Plants: The Cornerstone of Integrated Pest Management for Perennial Crops. Proceedings of the International Conference on the Future of Agriculture: Science, Stewardship and Sustainability, Aug. 7-9, 2006, Sacramento, CA. 14 page - CD Rom Publication. Interpretive Summary: With all perennial fruit crops, there is a constant demand for new varieties which will appeal more to the consumers and/or offer horticultural/disease(s) advantages. A safe method for accessing and making this exotic germplasm available to the industry is essential. The exclusion of exotic graft transmissible pathogens and other pests and the prevention of further spread of existing pests already established in the area may be accomplished by the use of mandatory certification programs. Such certification programs must incorporate a quarantine component to prevent the introduction of exotic pests; a clean stock program to allow for the therapy of locally available germplasm and its maintenance as pathogen-tested germplasm; and a certification program to allow for the delivery of the horticulturally-select pathogen-tested plants to the local growers and farmers.
Technical Abstract: Perennial clonally propagated crops are subject to many graft transmissible diseases caused by viruses and systemic prokaryotes. Many of these crops, such as citrus, have the potential to be productive for decades. The use of certification programs which incorporates a quarantine program to ensure the safe introduction of select horticultural germplasm, a clean stock program to conduct testing and provide therapy to identify and produce sources of pathogen-free propagating stock, and a certification program to ensure the development and maintenance of pathogen-free propagating materials for commercial use helps ensure that healthy plants of the highest horticultural potential are grown. The cost benefit ratio of certification programs is very favorable, and certification programs are important to prevent the introduction of additional pathogens. Specific examples will be given using citrus as an example.