In order to prevent the advance of HLB in the northern region of Entre Rios province in Argentina, INTAs professionals at Concordia station keep working on implementation of FONTAGRO project "Sustainable control of the HLB vector in Family Farming in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia”.
Project aims to adapt, disseminate and raise awareness of the key role of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) technology to control citrus HLB vector.
Currently there are demonstration lots in two different citrus family farms located in La Criolla and Villa del Rosario areas. With differentiated management in each lot, in one, management tasks are being carried out in a conventional way and in the second, the integrated pest management is being carried out. By this approach, professionals try to show results and impacts by applying different management practices.
In the context of COVID 19 pandemic, planned activities have been reformulated, maintaining those related to essential tasks, keeping necessary health and safety measures. Pest Monitoring in demonstration lots is carried out following strict security protocols.
Monitoring is one of the fundamental pillars for a correct integrated pest management, for this reason the continuity of the task became essential to move forward as planned. Pre-harvest evaluations of yield, quality and evaluation of fruit residues were also carried out in both lots. Finally, professionals keep offering virtual trainings on phytosanitary evaluation methodology for farmers in the region.
FONTAGRO- INTA project seek that these lots would become a meeting place for producers where data interchange, rising social awareness and field training take place on a regular basis. Demonstration lots also serve as classrooms for future certified monitors.
Farms where demonstration lots have been set have been selected through participatory workshops held with the main actors in the sector.
In addition, INTA's technical and computer team are joining FONTAGRO INTA HLB team to speed up the implementation of an early alert web system for HLB, its vector, and other citrus pests in order to keep close to producers on a daily basis.
This valuable tool will be nourished with data collected from all FONTAGRO INTA HLB lots (demonstrators and conventional) and other oranges and tangerines family farms throughout the Uruguay river area, in which INTAs researchers are systematically monitoring phenology and pests.