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Can Florida’s citrus industry be saved while preserving the environment? An economic analysis for the bio-control of the Asian Citrus Psyllid

Sergio Alvarez, Daniel Solis () and Michael Thomas

No 196685, 2015 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2015, Atlanta, Georgia from Southern Agricultural Economics Association

Abstract: The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) is the insect vector of a fatal disease for citrus known as Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening disease. HLB has been responsible for significant economic losses in Asia and Africa with crop losses between 30 to 100% in many production areas. In 1998, HLB was first detected in Florida and by 2005 this pest had spread to most commercial citrus groves in the State, threatening the sustainability of Florida’s Citrus industry. Since no cure for this disease is yet available, the only way to prevent HLB is to stop the ACP. Two alternative management strategies exist to control the ACP: heavy pesticide use and bio-control. In Florida, heavy use of pesticides has been the preferred strategy used by growers. This strategy is affecting Florida’s biodiversity, water quality, and important ecosystem services like pollination by honeybees. To cope with this issue the State of Florida started an ACP bio-control program in 1998 using parasitic wasps from Asia. In this study, we conduct an economic analysis of the ACP bio-control program. In doing so, we document the cost of the program, assess the private and public benefits and conduct a cost-benefit analysis under alternative scenarios.

Keywords: Bio-control; citrus industry; Florida; Crop Production/Industries; Environmental Economics and Policy; Q51; Q57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env and nep-sea
Date: 2015
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Handle: RePEc:ags:saea15:196685