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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Plant Pathology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #346806

Research Project: Mitigating High Consequence Domestic, Exotic, and Emerging Diseases of Fruits, Vegetables, and Ornamentals

Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

Title: Growers’ risk perception and trust in control options for huanglongbing citrus-disease in Florida and California

Author
item Milne, Alice - Rothamsted Research
item Teiken, Carrie - University Of California, Davis
item Deledalle, Florent - Rothamsted Research
item Van Den Bosch, Frank - Rothamsted Research
item Gottwald, Timothy
item Mcroberts, Neil - University Of California, Davis

Submitted to: Crop Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/18/2018
Publication Date: 9/4/2018
Citation: Milne, A.E., Teiken, C., Deledalle, F., Van Den Bosch, F., Gottwald, T.R., Mcroberts, N. 2018. Growers’ risk perception and trust in control options for huanglongbing citrus-disease in Florida and California. Crop Protection. 114(December 2018):177-186. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cropro.2018.08.028.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cropro.2018.08.028

Interpretive Summary: Citrus huanglongbing (HLB) disease is a plant disease that threatens the sustainability of citrus production across the world. Successful suppression of HLB requires action against its insect vector regionally requiring growers must cooperate. We surveyed growers from Florida and California to assess the consensus of opinions concerning issues that influence their management of HLB. Our results show that risk perception and trust in control options are central to the decision by growers on whether to join an area-wide control program in collaboration with other growers. Growers’ perceptions on risk and the effectiveness of disease control were influenced by information from discussions with other growers the media, researchers, and from growers meeting as well as personal observations. Researchers and extension agents were reported to have the largest influence on these perceptions. Differences in opinion between California and Florida growers as to the effectiveness of disease control treatments were largely a function of experience. These findings will help growers, growers associations and regulatory agencies devise better ways of communicating the seriousness of the disease and control options and highlights potential issues that should be observed carefully when preparing action plans for disease intervention.

Technical Abstract: Citrus huanglongbing disease is an acute bacterial disease that threatens the sustainability of citrus production across the world. In the USA, the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) is responsible for spreading the disease. Successful suppression of HLB requires action against ACP at large spatial scales, i.e. growers must cooperate. In Florida and California, regions in which citrus is grown have been split into management areas and growers are encouraged to coordinate spraying of insecticide across these (area-wide control). We surveyed growers from Florida and California to assess the consensus of opinions concerning issues that influence the management of HLB. Our results show that risk perception and trust in control options are central to the decision by growers on whether to join an area-wide control program. Growers’ perceptions on risk and control efficacy are influenced by information networks and observations about the state of the epidemic and psyllid populations. Researchers and extension agents were reported to have the largest influence on these perceptions. Differences in opinion between California and Florida growers as to the efficacy of treatments were largely a function of experience. A large proportion of growers identified failure of participation as a reason why participation in area-wide control might not occur.