Tamarixia radiata, a natural predator of Asian citrus psyllid, has been released in Kern County, CA, last week in response to the growing number of psyllids captured in the county in the last year.
Citrus is the fourth-largest crop in the county, with an estimated value of $892.9 million dollars, reports the Bakersfield Californian. However, 70% of citrus trees are residential in the county.
“It’s been very successfully established in Southern California,” Victoria Hornbaker, citrus program manager for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, tells the Californian of the release program. “We want to see if we can get some success in Kern County.”
So far, Huanglongbing, or citrus greening, was found in Hacienda Heights, CA, in 2012 and there have been 26 finds of the disease since in Los Angeles County.