According to the Argentine citrus sector, their biggest threat today is a bacterium and a small insect. The first attacks the plants, has no known cure and destroys the production in a short time. The second, known as the citrus leafhopper, is the vector that transmits it. Due to this threat, five companies in the country signed an agreement with Bayer to introduce agrochemicals that prevent the expansion of the Huanglonbing disease (HLB) or greening.
"It's lethal to the sector. The production of oranges in Florida practically disappeared and Brazil and Mexico are in serious trouble," said Carlos Parravicini, the general manager of the Argenti Lemon company from Tucuman, one of the companies that is participating in the agreement, together with San Miguel, Ledesma, Citromax, and Citrusvil.
The initiative seeks to introduce in the country two Bayer insecticides against sucking insects in fruit, which includes the Diaphorina citri. The products are already sold in other markets, such as Chile or the United States, and will require an investment of more than US $ 200,000 in tests and results analysis.
To enter the market, they must be analyzed and approved by Senasa, the official entity that regulates and oversees the agricultural food sector in the country.
"The goal is for five large companies to work on finding solutions so that they can be used by the entire industry," said Martin Carignani, San Miguel's country manager for Argentina and president of Acnoa, the association that brings together citrus producers Northwest Argentina.
The plan will concentrate in the provinces of that region (Tucuman, Jujuy, Salta), the largest citrus producers in the country that are still free of this threat. In contrast, the HLB already entered Argentina's coastal area from Brazil, where it has already compromised some plantations.
The tests started in the NOA plantations last year and will continue in 2019. The expectation is that the products, present with trademarks in other countries, will be endorsed by the end of 2020, for use as of the 2021 campaign.
"The components are the same as those used in other countries, but it is necessary to make technical adjustments in this country," the folks from Bayer stated, referring to variables such as the level of rainfall, the humidity of the environment, and the country's plant varieties.