Multi-Agency Response to Devastating Citrus Disease | USDA
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Multi-Agency Response to Devastating Citrus Disease

Basket of citrus orangesOne of the most serious citrus diseases in the world-Huanglongbing (HLB)-poses a very real and growing threat to citrus production in the United States. USDA heard from and listened to the citrus industry's request for more urgency and greater coordination on the response to HLB. Immediately, USDA established a new, unified emergency response framework to better position the Department to respond in a more agile, concerted, and direct way to both the immediate and long-term needs of the citrus industry.

To jump start this initiative, USDA is providing $1 million to be used in support of research projects that can bring practical and short-term solutions to the growers in their efforts to combat the disease.

HLB Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) System

Participating organizations include USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), as well as State departments of agriculture and industry groups. These partners are forming an HLB Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) Group-or HLB MAC Group-to jointly collaborate on policy decisions, establish priorities, allocate critical resources, and collect, analyze, and disseminate information. The HLB MAC Group will help to coordinate and prioritize Federal research with industry's efforts to complement and fill research gaps, reduce unnecessary duplication, speed progress, and more quickly provide practical tools for citrus growers to use.

The HLB MAC will provide the industry with a single Federal point of contact for all Federal and State entities that work on citrus issues. In addition, the framework will maintain and share a common operating picture of HLB response that is accessible across jurisdictions and functional agencies. This common operating picture will greatly improve strategy development, policymaking, and resource allocation-ensuring funds are invested where they can have maximum impact based on input of all participants.

Roles of the HLB MAC Group Participants

As the first order of business, the HLB MAC Group participants-APHIS, ARS, NIFA, State departments of agriculture, and industry organizations-will work to collaboratively define their specific roles and responsibilities under the framework.

Each participating organization brings special expertise, resources, and perspectives to the fight against HLB. The Federal and State participants also have statutory and regulatory authorities that have been crucial in slowing the spread of the disease.

APHIS will take the lead and will convene joint agency planning and resource management through its Citrus Health Response Program.

Contact the HLB MAC Group

Contact a member of the Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) Group for more information.

Sign Up for HLB MAC Group Updates

If you would like to receive timely updates on the HLB MAC Group's activities, we invite you to join the APHIS Stakeholder Registry. Once you sign up, you can subscribe to the "Citrus Pests and Disease" topic through the following steps:

      1. Select Plant Health Information.
      2. Select Plant Health in the US (Domestic).
      3. Select Pest Management.
      4. Check the Citrus Pests and Disease box.
      5. Submit your subscription.