Science & Technology

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

AgSafe, an agriculture-based safety organization, has developed a food safety training course for produce harvesting. This class will be helpful to everyone in the produce business especially those involved in harvesting specialty crops.  It will give supervisors, foremen, crew leads and field workers basic knowledge regarding sanitation and hygiene principles that are often noted in food safety audits. 
 

Greg Nelson

The California Dept. of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is holding two meetings to introduce its new program for on-farm water conservation practices and to hear comments and suggestions from growers.  The first meeting will be held in Sacramento on April 11; the second in Modesto on April 18:

Gail Delihant

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