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.

Jeff Janas

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.

Ken Gilliland

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.

Dennis Nuxoll

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.

Ken Gilliland

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