Solutions to the Armillaria Root Rot Threat Affecting the US Stone Fruit Industry

Grants and Contracts Details


A primary goal for this objective is to provide baseline information to the industry both towards the cost of ARR, current practices being used to manage ARR and the potential benefits of the proposed cultural practices, as mentioned above. However, before assessing the potential benefits of these cultural practices a deeper understanding is needed of the current impact of ARR across the California almond, cherry and peach production, Michigan cherry production, South Carolina peach production, and Georgia peach production. No industry-wide survey of the effects of ARR on these regions has ever been conducted. The data required to achieve this goal will be obtained from a survey instrument administered to stone fruit farm managers. Key personnel are directly managing the day to day operations of the farm. The target sample size will be 50-75 producers across all crops with the goal of having at least 25 responses per crop. The questionnaire will include sections related to: i) demographic characteristics, and risk tolerance levels of the producer, ii) agronomic characteristics of the field, iii) orchard operation characteristics, iv) the impact of ARR on production, iv) current management practices to control ARR, and v) an evaluation of producers preferences and willingness to pay for the discovered rootstock and alternative methods to eliminate or mitigate the impacts of ARR (Gallardo and Wang 2013). Prior to the distribution of the survey instrument, focus groups with producers and stakeholders will be organized to pretest the questionnaire for wording errors, clarifications required etc. Subsequently, the modified survey instrument will be distributed to farmers using a set of mail survey design procedures from Dillman et al.’s (2009) tailored design method. Managers will first receive a questionnaire with a personalized letter through first class mail. A postcard reminder will follow this initial mailing. Those not responding will be sent a second questionnaire with a personalized, signed letter through first class mail. Finally, a second postcard reminder will be sent. Names and addresses of farm managers in these production areas have been collected over the last two years, and additional contact information will be solicited from collaborators on this project. All respondents will be assured complete confidentiality of their responses. The Clemson University Internal Review Board will approve all procedures for Human Subjects prior to surveying.
Effective start/end date9/1/208/31/24


  • Clemson University: $194,450.00


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