Citrus Health Management Areas (CHMAs)
Citrus Health Management Areas (CHMAs) are grouping of commercial citrus groves in close proximity where growers work cooperatively to manage the spread of HLB. Participants in a CHMA coordinate psyllid control sprays to provide long-lasting effective psyllid control to minimize movement of psyllids between groves and reduce the time needed before additional sprays are required. Grower participation in a CHMA is voluntary; however, growers should encourage their neighboring growers to participate as the level of overall success of the program is dependent on participation of all groves in the area.
The current driving force behind creation of CHMAs in Florida is the need for effective psyllid control in order to manage the spread of HLB. While there are a number of effective insecticide products currently available for controlling psyllids, the movement behavior of psyllids between groves makes gaining control of their populations difficult, regardless of what product is applied. Experience in Florida and elsewhere has shown that when neighboring growers work together to coordinate psyllid sprays, this group effort can effectively reduce psyllid populations over a large enough area to prevent rapid reinfestation of groves and potentially reduce the number of insecticide applications needed per season to manage psyllid populations. The goal of the CHMA is to coordinate the timing and ensure the proper rotation of pesticide mode of action to obtain the best psyllid control possible while minimizing the potential for pesticide resistance development. Growers can use any application method they desire (aerial, low-volume, speed sprayer) so long as these goals are achieved.
Implementation of CHMAs will be the result of the collaboration of several groups of participants.
Citrus growers / regional grower organizations are the driving force behind this voluntary program. For each CHMA there will be one or more grower team leaders who will organize local CHMA planning meetings. The team leaders will also help to maintain the flow of communications between their CHMA and the non-grower participants (UF-IFAS and FDACS). Team leaders will also serve as a point of contact for growers who are interested in participating in the CHMA.
UF-IFAS will help to facilitate the establishment and continued functioning of CHMAs. UF-IFAS County Agents will serve the CHMAs in their regions by assisting in the organization of planning meetings, provide information to help make management decisions, and serve as a liason between the CHMA and the UF-IFAS specialists and support staff. UF-IFAS Extension Specialists (Entomologists, Horticulturalists and Plant Pathologists) are also available to attend CHMA planning meetings when needed to deliver extension presentations and provide any additional information required in developing a CHMA’s plan of action. UF-IFAS Extension Support Staff keep the websites for each CHMA up-to-date with the latest news, schedule of planned coordinated sprays, and psyllid scouting reports.
FDACS-DPI will aid in the development of each CHMA by providing up-to-date maps of each CHMA for planning meetings and posting on the CHMA website. FDACS-DPI-CHRP will also conduct routine psyllid scouting of each CHMA to provide real-time information on psyllid populations in each CHMA. These reports will be made available on the CHMA website to document the success of the CHMA program and serve as a tool for making pest management decisions.
In areas where a CHMA is not yet established and there is grower interest, contact should be made with the local UF-IFAS Extension County Agent to request assistance IFAS with the coordination of the first CHMA planning meeting. The goal of the first planning meeting is to delineate the area comprising the CHMA based on the grouping of commercial citrus groves in the area. Following the first planning meeting, UF-IFAS will work with FDACS-DPI to create detailed maps of the commercial citrus groves in the proposed CHMA. Local growers/industry leaders will then coordinate a second CHMA planning meeting and encourage all growers in the proposed CHMA area to attend. At the second CHMA meeting, the proposed area for the CHMA will be discussed and revised if needed. The group will then develop a plan of action for the coming season which will include the number of coordinated applications to be made, the timing of those applications and the pesticide mode(s) of action to be used. Upon reaching a consensus, the plan of action will be posted on the CHMA website for future reference. Notices of additional CHMA meetings, pest updates and pesticide application reminders will be posted on the CHMA website as well as through email and local grower organization communications.