Following the lead of counterparts in Florida and Texas, a program outlining citrus psyllid treatment strategies has been developed for citrus growers in California’s Central Valley. According to The Grower, three meetings scheduled for next week will give producers the opportunity to learn more about combatting the dreaded Asian citrus psyllid and the deadly greening disease it carries.
The battle against the Asian citrus psyllid has taken place primarily in California backyards – until recently. A rise in commercial citrus psyllid detections means that all industry members play an increasingly crucial role in preventing the spread of an insect that carries the devastating Huanglongbing disease. Farm labor contractors, crew bosses, harvesters and other field workers can take several precautions to ensure the psyllid doesn’t spread from one citrus grove to another.
Today, an additional area has been quarantined in Tulare County due to the discovery of one Asian citrus psyllid near the community of Farmersville. On June 12, 2014, Spotlight reported that such an expansion was expected, but the exact size of the quarantine area had yet to be determined.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has been forced to expand the quarantine area in Tulare County after the discovery of additional Asian citrus psyllids in the region. The Grower reports, that as a result, a new 110-mile quarantine area exists, adjacent to Tulare’s existing quarantine area. Although not yet defined or announced, CDFA is expected to further expand the quarantine area due to the detection of a single psyllid trapped outside the current and newly-announced quarantine areas.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that $1.5 million in funding will be made available to expand bio-control efforts to fight Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack created a Huanglongbing multi-agency coordination group (HLB MAC Group) in December. This is the first funding for these efforts made available by the group. The HLB MAC Group serves to coordinate and prioritize Federal research with industry's efforts to complement and fill research gaps, reduce unnecessary duplication, speed progress, and more quickly provide practical tools for citrus growers to use. It also fosters greater coordination among federal and state agencies in responding to citrus greening.
The detection of Asian Citrus Psyllid in in the Arroyo Grande area of San Luis Obispo County has triggered the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to issue a quarantine for the southern portion of the county. As reported in Spotlight last week, one psyllid was detected in the county and marks the ever-increasing spread of psyllid detections emanating from San Diego, north to a host of other counties, including Imperial, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernadino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura, as well as portions of Fresno, Kern and Tulare Counties.
Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), today announced that $48.1 million would be allocated to prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases that threaten America’s agriculture economy and the environment. The funds are being made available through the Farm Bill and include $2 million for protection against exotic fruit flies in California. Scientists have placed a high-cost on the damage invasive species have on the economy, estimating a total economic impact of $120 million annually.
Yet another county has been added to the list of those where Asian citrus psyllid has been detected. According to the Santa Maria Sun, the pest, which was detected on March 26, carries a citrus greening disease known as Huanglonbing and has been working its way north from San Diego County where it was first detected in 2008. Huanglonbing has no cure and is deadly to citrus trees. A quarantine is being established by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to prevent the spread of the pest.