Evolution of Citrus Disease Management Programs and Their Economic Implications: The Case of Florida’s Citrus Industry

lemons on the tree at the MFREC

New exotic diseases (citrus canker, HLB, and citrus black spot) have sharply increased the real cost of production of citrus in Florida. Growers have been applying different management strategies, and more effective treatments are being researched. The costs and benefits of these alternatives will need to be quantified to establish their economic feasibility. This 5-page fact sheet written by Ariel Singerman and Marina Burani-Arouca and published by the Food and Resource Economics Department focuses on the costs of managing exotic citrus diseases as they become endemic or established within a citrus industry, with Florida used as an example. The steep increase in the real cost of production of citrus in Florida from 2003/04 to 2014/15 provides evidence that managing endemic exotic diseases is very costly for growers, even without taking into account the effect those diseases have on yields. Therefore, governmental policies focused on preventing the introduction of additional exotic diseases would be highly beneficial for citrus growers and the Florida citrus industry as a whole.