July 29, 2013

USDA Signs off On ACP Quarantine

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor
A five-mile boundary quarantine is scheduled to be announced this week that encircles the two traps near Porterville that caught six Asian Citrus Psyllid adults in mid June. The quarantine is not following a measured radius; instead, roads and avenues will establish the outer boundaries of the quarantine.

“This represents 178 square miles where citrus cannot be removed unless certain protocols are followed,” said Gavin Iacono, Tulare County Deputy Ag Commissioner overseeing Standards and Quarantines.

“The quarantine has not been officially designated by CDFA, but it should happen soon,” Iacono said. “And the treatment has not been approved—as of today.”

Iacono noted the current protocol for a quarantined zone such as in Southern California is citrus cannot leave the area unless the fruit is sent over the top of a series of rollers and brushes—otherwise known as a moveable field fruit cleaning machine—such as those seen in packing houses. Also, the citrus must be free of stems and leaves. From there, the citrus can go into bins, loaded on trucks and shipped out of the area. “Right now, this is the only approved method, and it may be the method recommended by CDFA,” Iacono said.

One problem is that there are few field cleaning machines in the area. “Most of those portable machines on tractor-trailers are in Southern California where pre-cleaning is done in most citrus areas,” noted Iacono. “Some of these machines may need to be moved into Tulare County.”

Watch this blog for updated information on the pending quarantine.

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