From the Office of State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa

November 16, 2009
CONTACT: Arturo Ballesteros
(512) 463-0120 office
(512) 810-1294 cell

MEDIA ADVISORY

What:

Texas Potato Growers and Industry 3-Day Conference on Citrus Huanglongbing and Potato Zebra Chip

Who:

Leading scientists, researchers and industry representatives from the U.S. and Mexico will be in attendance to discuss issues related to citrus and potato crops

Where:

McAllen Convention Center, 700 Convention Center Boulevard

When:

Monday, November 16th, 12:00 noon

Why:

In 2000, Texas potato farmers began finding signs of a disease attacking their crops. By 2007, Texas farmers were losing up to half of their crops unmarketable potatoes, resulting in a decrease of more than 25% of acreage planted the following year.

Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa was quick to respond and secured $1.6 million to research the cause and develop management strategies. With more research work needed to further study disease management and potato selection, Senator Hinojosa again led the charge to get additional $1.6. million during the 81st Legislative Session.

The yearly direct value of the Texas potato crop to the state economy is about $75 million with an indirect value of about $300 million. More than 2,500 jobs from field to table are impacted statewide (AgriLife Research, Texas A&M System, February, 2009).

For more information on the HLB/ZC Conference visit http://agrilifevents.tamu.edu/index.cfm, click on "Events," then type "zebra chip" in the keyword search field.

Contacts:

Arturo Ballesteros
Senator Hinojosa's Office
(512) 463-0120
(512) 810-1294

Jack Wallace, Chairman
Texas Potato Growers
(956) 457-7547
 

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