Citrus Greening Found For First Time In California

Florida Citrus Show Extended Content Coverage: On A Mission

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the USDA announced they had found the state’s first detection of the citrus disease known as Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening. The disease was detected in an Asian citrus psyllid sample and plant material taken from a lemon/pummelo tree in a residential neighborhood in the Hacienda Heights area of Los Angeles County.

HLB is a bacterial disease that attacks the vascular system of plants. The Asian citrus psyllid can spread the bacteria as the pest feeds on citrus trees and other plants. Once a tree is infected, there is no cure; it typically declines and dies within a few years.

“Citrus is not just a part of California’s agricultural economy; it’s a cherished part of our landscape and our shared history,” said CDFASecretary Karen Ross. “CDFA is moving swiftly to protect the state’s citrus growers as well as our residential trees and the many prized citrus plantings in our parks and other public lands. We have been planning and preparing for this scenario with our growers and our colleagues at the federal and local levels since before the Asian citrus psyllid was first detected here in 2008.”

In fact, just three weeks ago CDFA’s acting director for Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services, Robert Leavitt, announced at the annual meeting of California Citrus Mutual (CCM) that the state was instituting a policy of zero tolerance regarding HLB. Any infected tree would be removed and the area sprayed with pesticides if HLB was found in any citrus tree, whether in a commercial grove or residential setting. “CDFA is committed to working with the industry to fight HLB tree by tree, state by state, and grove by grove,” Leavitt told the many growers and others affiliated with the  industry at the CCM meeting.

CDFA officials are making arrangements to remove and dispose of the infected tree found in LA and conduct treatment of citrus trees within 800 meters of the find site. By taking these steps, a critical reservoir of disease and its vectors will be removed, which officials say is essential. Treatment for HLB will be conducted with the oversight of the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal-EPA). Officials emphasized the treatment will be conducted safely, with advance and follow-up notices provided to residents in the treatment area.

An intensive survey of local citrus trees and psyllids is under way to determine the source and extent of the HLB infestation. Planning has begun for a quarantine of the infested area to limit the spread of the disease by restricting the movement of citrus trees, citrus plant parts, green waste, and all citrus fruit except what is commercially cleaned and packed. As part of the quarantine, citrus and closely related plants at nurseries in the area will be placed on hold.

Residents of quarantine areas are urged not to remove or share citrus fruit, trees, clippings/grafts or related plant material. Citrus fruit may be harvested and consumed on-site.

CDFA, in partnership with the USDA, local agricultural commissioners and the citrus industry, continues to pursue a strategy of controlling the spread of Asian citrus psyllids while researchers work to find a cure for the disease.

HLB is known to be present in Mexico and in parts of the southern U.S. Florida first detected the pest in 1998 and the disease in 2005, and the two have now been detected in all 30 citrus-producing counties in that state. The University of Florida estimates the disease has tallied more than 6,600 lost jobs, $1.3 billion in lost revenue to growers and $3.6 billion in lost economic activity. The pest and the disease are also present in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina. The states of Arizona, Mississippi and Alabama have detected the pest but not the disease.

The Asian citrus psyllid was first detected in California in 2008, and quarantines are now in place in Ventura, San Diego, Imperial, Orange, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. CCM officials say it is vital to keep the psyllid – and the deadly HLB it spreads – out of the San Joaquin Valley, the home of the state’s famed “Citrus Belt.” If Californians believe they have seen evidence of HLB in local citrus trees, they are asked to please call CDFA’s toll-free pest hotline at 1-800-491-1899.

For more information on the Asian citrus psyllid and HLB visit: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/acp/.

Learn more at GrowingProduce.com’s Citrus Insect & Disease portal by clicking here.

 

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Biocontrols 2015 Conference
CitrusGrowers Go In-Depth At Biocontrols 2015 Conference & Tradeshow
March 9, 2015
The first-of-its-kind event brought growers, researchers, regulators, and suppliers together for a two-day discussion on the latest biocontrols tools and technologies. Read More
Crop ProtectionAt Paramount Farming, Mating Disruption Pays Off
February 10, 2015
To say Brad Higbee is an expert in mating disruption, the use of pheromones to confuse target pests and reduce Read More
Crop ProtectionGrower Experienced In Biocontrols Says: Be Patient
February 4, 2015
The use of biocontrols in all aspects of agriculture is becoming more widespread. But incorporating biocontrols in a vegetable farming Read More
GenNext GrowersPlan Ahead To Secure Farm Funding
April 1, 2015
Do your homework before applying for a grant or a loan. Read More
Washington Capitol building
Food SafetyBill To Halt Patchwork Of State GMO Labeling Laws
March 31, 2015
Reintroduced bill includes a new provision allowing for labeling products as GMO-free via USDA-certification process. Read More
BerriesSouthern Strawberry, Peach Growers Concerned About Cold Snap
March 31, 2015
Plastic coverings, sprinklers used to keep crops warm with consecutive nights of low temperatures. Read More
Food SafetyFDA Holding Public Meeting On FSMA Implementation Strategy
March 31, 2015
Forum to provide opportunity to discuss planning efforts for the next phase of Food Safety Modernization Act implementation. Read More
PotatoesNew Dual-Purpose Potato Variety Released
March 31, 2015
The russet-skinned variety from the University of Maine and the Maine Potato Board boasts high yields. Read More
CitrusMake Every Day Ag Day
March 31, 2015
Another National Ag Day came and went on March 18. Did you do anything to promote it this year? Even Read More
VegetablesSweet Potato Options For Midwest Growers
March 31, 2015
In the U.S., commercial production of sweet potatoes is mainly in the southern states, particularly North Carolina and Louisiana. The Read More
Farm ManagementLocation Is King When Marketing
March 31, 2015
University of Pennsylvania Wharton School marketing professor David Bell was being interviewed on my local NPR station about his recently Read More
HarvestingOptimize Your Asparagus Harvest
March 30, 2015
It is an exciting time of the year when asparagus spears start poking their heads out of the ground. Careful Read More
Apples & PearsPink Lady Apple Production Continues To Grow
March 30, 2015
Total production is up nearly 50% over 2009, and is expected to increase 33% in the next three years. Read More
The Latest
GenNext GrowersPlan Ahead To Secure Farm Funding
April 1, 2015
Do your homework before applying for a grant or a loan. Read More
Washington Capitol building
Food SafetyBill To Halt Patchwork Of State GMO Labeling Laws
March 31, 2015
Reintroduced bill includes a new provision allowing for labeling products as GMO-free via USDA-certification process. Read More
BerriesSouthern Strawberry, Peach Growers Concerned About Cold…
March 31, 2015
Plastic coverings, sprinklers used to keep crops warm with consecutive nights of low temperatures. Read More
Food SafetyFDA Holding Public Meeting On FSMA Implementation Strat…
March 31, 2015
Forum to provide opportunity to discuss planning efforts for the next phase of Food Safety Modernization Act implementation. Read More
PotatoesNew Dual-Purpose Potato Variety Released
March 31, 2015
The russet-skinned variety from the University of Maine and the Maine Potato Board boasts high yields. Read More
CitrusMake Every Day Ag Day
March 31, 2015
Another National Ag Day came and went on March 18. Did you do anything to promote it this year? Even Read More
VegetablesSweet Potato Options For Midwest Growers
March 31, 2015
In the U.S., commercial production of sweet potatoes is mainly in the southern states, particularly North Carolina and Louisiana. The Read More
Farm ManagementLocation Is King When Marketing
March 31, 2015
University of Pennsylvania Wharton School marketing professor David Bell was being interviewed on my local NPR station about his recently Read More
HarvestingOptimize Your Asparagus Harvest
March 30, 2015
It is an exciting time of the year when asparagus spears start poking their heads out of the ground. Careful Read More
Apples & PearsPink Lady Apple Production Continues To Grow
March 30, 2015
Total production is up nearly 50% over 2009, and is expected to increase 33% in the next three years. Read More
Food SafetyHow To Manage Food Safety Risks
March 30, 2015
You need to understand produce safety issues and what they mean to your farm. Read More
Laboratory beakers
CitrusGrowing Demand For Magnesium Nitrate Spurs TradeMark Ni…
March 30, 2015
Via enhancements made to its manufacturing plant, Florida company is able to provide more of its product to various fertilizer distributors and retailers throughout the country. Read More
Apples & PearsHow Will We Sell All These Apples? [Opinion]
March 30, 2015
Apple production is reaching heights that would have been unthinkable two or three decades ago. That's great news for growers — if we can sell them all profitably, Read More
blue orchard bee
Integrated Pest ManagementBlue Orchard Bee Shows Promise As An Alternative Pollin…
March 30, 2015
The native bee Osmia lignaria could soon be a valuable piece of the pollinator mix, especially for smaller almond growers. Read More
Richard Jones
Farm ManagementDon’t Burn Out This Spring
March 30, 2015
Finding ways to limit stress will benefit both you and your business. Read More
Apples & PearsSounding Off On GMOs: The Arctic Apple Decision
March 27, 2015
Industry leaders share their feelings on the recently approved genetically modified apples. Read More
BerriesBuilding A Better Black Raspberry
March 27, 2015
Studies focusing on consumer preference, aphid resistance, heat tolerance, and genetics aim to capitalize on an expanding market. Read More
Insect & Disease UpdateMore California Citrus Placed Under Psyllid Quarantine
March 27, 2015
Asian citrus psyllid is found in Madera County – the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. Read More