California Technology Summit Targeting Early Detection Of Deadly Citrus Disease Slated

Early detection technologies can become valuable tools for identifying trees infected with Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening, before physical symptoms of the disease appear.


A massive amount of research is underway, but for a variety of reasons is not yet being used in the field or for regulatory purposes. California Citrus Mutual and the Citrus Research Board invite growers to learn why at the HLB Early Detection Technology Summit Tuesday, Dec. 1, at the Visalia Convention Center.

Register online or call California Citrus Mutual, 559-592-3790.

Here’s the schedule:

Doors open at 8:30 a.m., with complimentary coffee, juice, and breakfast pastries.

Morning session begins at 9 a.m. with presentations from lead researchers working on early detection technologies for HLB. The session is moderated by Dr. Beth Grafton-Cardwell, Director of Lindcove REC & Research Entomologist, University of California, Riverside. Expert speakers include:

Mike Irey – Director of Research and Business Development, Southern Gardens Citrus, Florida; Dr. David Bartels – Entomologist, USDA APHIS PPQ, Mission Laboratory, Texas; Dr. Carolyn Slupsky – Professor in the Departments of Nutrition, and Food Science & Technology, University of California, Davis; Dr. Neil McRoberts – Associate Professor of Plant Pathology, Quantitative Biology and Epidemiology Lab, UC Davis.

Lunch is at 12 p.m., with registration required. It is sponsored by California Citrus Mutual and the Citrus Research Board.

The afternoon session, which begins at 1 p.m., is titled “Are HLB early detection technologies viable for the California citrus industry?” The session will be moderated by: Kerry Tucker – Nuffer, Smith, Tucker Public Relations. Expert speakers include:

Robert Atkins – Statewide Coordinator, Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program; Dr. Ed Civerolo – Advisor, Citrus Research Board; Victoria Hornbaker – Citrus Program Manager, California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA); Dr. Cheryl Blomquist – Senior Plant Pathologist, CDFA; Dr. Mary Palm – Leader, HLB MAC Group, USDA; Dr. Philip Berger – Executive Director, Science & Technology, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine; Richard Bennett – Citrus Grower and Chairman of the Citrus Research Board.