Protecting California Citrus Industry

State’s Citrus Industry at a Crossroads

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, told California Ag Today recently that the fight to protect the California citrus industry from Citrus Greening is ongoing with many moving parts.

“We are working closely with both with USDA and county ag commissioners to protect our important citrus industry,” she said. “And funding from our federal agency partners is important in the fight.”

“There is a strong sense of urgency, and I honestly feel we’re at a significant crossroads because of the most recent Huanglongbing infected tree finds in Southern California that keep the infected Asian Citrus Psyllid numbers up,” Ross explained.

She noted that the biggest challenge is citrus in the state’s urban areas.

“The beauty of citrus is that nearly every Californian has a citrus plant of some kind. That’s also one of our biggest challenges right now, because we’re very dependent on our urban residential neighbors to allow inspectors to repeatedly go to their door, in order to take samples, and then possibly having to go back and pull trees.

Ross said that the state has dedicated full time leadership to help fight HLB. There’s a lot of moving parts in the program.

“It’s gotten very large, and we’re going do whatever we need to do to make sure California citrus has a long, long part of our history and our economy,” she said.

Ross noted that the Asian Citrus Psyllid isn’t the only pest concerning California agriculture.

“Besides our big Asian citrus psyllid program, we have ongoing medfly infestations, several fruit fly infestations, and light broth apple moth infestation, and we are working on Japanese beetle eradication programs,” she said.

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BREAKING NEWS: First ACP Found In Monterey County

First ACP Found In Monterey County

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

An Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) has been found in Monterey County, thus expanding the ACP Quarantine in the state. This is breaking news as the ACP vectors or has the ability to carry a fatal citrus bacterial disease known as Huanlongbing (HLB) or citrus greening.

Save our citrus from citrus greening
Save our citrus

“It was in a residential area of northeast Salinas,” said Bob Roach, assistant ag commissioner for Monterey County, “and it’s not really unexpected because, with the exception of Santa Cruz County, we are surrounded by other counties where ACP have been identified on the sticky traps.”

This ACP find was in a residential yard, just north of Salinas. “The most likely cause,” said Roach commented, “When you find it in a residential area, the likely source of the introduction is when people move plants around” from other regions where the psyllid is present.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will begin the trapping next week,” Roach explained. “They flood the area with traps and then take care of the treatments.” CDFA will coordinate spray programs within 800 meters from the find. “They’re all set up for that,” said Roach.

Featured Image: Adult ACP (Source:  The Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program)

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#CitrusMatters Spreads Info

#CitrusMatters Helps Spread Word on Serious Citrus Greening Disease

By Kyle Buchoff, Assistant Editor

Steve Olson, senior product manager for Bayer CropScience has a big passion for citrus, an important U.S. crop currently at risk to Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening, a bacterial citrus plant disease. The vector of the deadly disease is a tiny insect known as the Asian citrus psyllid. Bayer CropScience launched the #CitrusMatters initiative this year to fully convey the significance of HLB to the California public.#CitrusMatters

Olson said the initiative focused on California’s urban settings because more than 60 percent of homeowners in California grow citrus trees in their yards. “We felt we could have some influence on broadening public awareness of this very significant disease.”

“So we introduced the #CitrusMatters initiative with California Citrus Mutual to help spread through social media the importance of citrus and how people enjoy citrus,” said Olson. “We were trying to make that emotional connection, and I think to a degree we have had some success. We held a #CitrusMatters Day in San Diego on May 8 and in Los Angeles on July 2, and tried to engage mass media. I think it is a very important undertaking to really bring awareness to homeowners who have citrus in their backyards.”

For more information go to: citrusmatters.bayercropscience.us.

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USDA Funds $30M to Fight Citrus Greening

USDA Targets Citrus Greening with Promising Tools and Long Term Solutions

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $30 million in funding TODAY for 22 projects to help citrus producers combat Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening, a devastating citrus disease that threatens U.S. citrus production. The money will fund promising projects that could offer near-term solutions as well as research funding that may develop long-terms solutions. The promising near-term tools and solutions are funded through the HLB Multiagency Coordination Group while the research projects are funded through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative Citrus Disease Research and Education (CDRE) program, which is made available through the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill).

“Our HLB Multi-Agency Coordination Group has worked closely with the citrus industry to select and fund projects that we think will make a real difference for growers against HLB,” said Vilsack. “Funding these projects through cooperative agreements puts us one step closer to putting real tools to fight this disease into the hands of citrus growers.” Vilsack continued, “Through the CDRE research we are announcing today, we are also investing in long-term solutions to diseases that threaten the long-term survival of the citrus industry.”

USDA’s HLB Multi-Agency Coordination Group funded fifteen projects that support thermotherapy, best management practices, early detection, and pest control efforts for a total of more than $7 million. All of them are designed to provide near-term tools and solutions to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $30 million in funding TODAY for 22 projects to help citrus producers combat Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening, a devastating citrus disease that threatens U.S. citrus production.  the citrus industry fight HLB. The projects include:

Two projects to provide improved delivery of thermotherapy to HLB infected trees, a promising treatment that has shown to help infected trees regain productivity after treatment. One of these projects will test thermotherapy on a grove-wide scale. since studies have shown heating a tree to 120 degrees for approximately 48 hours can kill the HLB bacterium in the upper part of the tree, allowing the tree to regain productivity. This funding will address the challenge of identifying a quick and practical way for growers to use the technology on a large scale.  

Six projects to provide citrus producers with best management practices in Florida citrus groves.

  • One project will focus on lowering the pH of the irrigation water and soil to strengthen the root systems of citrus trees to help them better tolerate HLB infection.
  • Three projects will support different combinations of integrated management approaches for sustaining production in trees in different stages of infection.
  • Two projects will test strategies for preventing tree death due to HLB infection. One of those will field test rootstocks that have shown ability to tolerate HLB infection. The other will use technologies to rapidly propagate the tolerant material for field use by the industry.

Three projects to increase early detection of HLB.

  • One project will train dogs to detect HLB infected trees. Detector dogs have proven to be highly adept at detecting citrus canker and early results suggest they will be an effective early detection tool for HLB.
  • One project will develop a root sampling and testing strategy.
  • One project will compare several promising early detection tests.

Four projects to provide tools to kill the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), the vector of HLB.

  • One will produce and release the insect Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis as a second biological control agent in California.
  • One project will use a biocontrol fungus to kill ACP adults.
  • One project will use a trap to attract and kill ACP adults.
  • One project will increase the use of field cages for the production of the insect Tamarixia radiata in residential areas, especially those that are adjacent to commercial groves in Texas. Tamarixia has already proven to be an effective biological control agent for ACP. Using field cages will enable the wider use of this effective ACP control.

In addition to these projects, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture funded more than $23 million dollars for research and education project to find lasting solutions to citrus greening disease. Examples of funded projects include developing HLB-resistant citrus cultivars, the development of field detection system for HLB, using heat as a treatment for prolonging productivity in infected citrus trees, creating a new antimicrobial treatment, among others. A fact sheet with a complete list of awardees and project descriptions is available on the USDA website.

Fiscal year 2014 grants have been awarded to two California universities, University of California, Davis, $4.6M and University of California, Riverside, $1.7M. The University of Florida, Gainesville and Kansas State University, Manhattan, are also receiving research awards.

CDRE is a supplement to the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI). The focus of this year’s funding was specifically on citrus greening disease. Because there are wide differences in the occurrence and progression of HLB among the states, there were regional as well as national priorities for CDRE. These priorities, recommended by the Citrus Disease Subcommittee, fall within four categories: 1) priorities that deal with the pathogen; 2) those that deal with the insect vector; 3) those that deal with citrus orchard production systems; and 4) those that deal with non-agricultural citrus tree owners.

One subcommittee member is Justin D. Brown, Vice President and General Manager, D Bar J Orchards, Inc. in Orange Grove, California.

The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

USDA NIFA Citrus Greening Awardees Fact Sheet
USDA NIFA Citrus Greening Awardees Fact Sheet

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ACP Quarantine Expands in Santa Clara County

ACP Quarantine Adds Another 61 Square Miles to the North

Announced TODAY, the Asian citrus psyllid or ACP Quarantine has expanded to include an additional portion of Santa Clara County following the detection of multiple psyllids in and around the City of San Jose.

The quarantine expansion adds 61 square miles to the north, bringing the total quarantine area to 160 square miles. A map is available online at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/go/acp-quarantine. Residents with backyard citrus trees in the quarantine area are asked not to transport or send citrus fruit or leaves, potted citrus trees, or curry leaves from the quarantine area.

In addition to quarantines in portions of Santa Clara, Fresno, Kern, San Joaquin, and San Luis Obispo counties, ACP entire-county quarantines remain in place in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties.

The ACP is an invasive species of grave concern because it can carry the disease huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening. All citrus and closely related species, such as curry trees, are susceptible hosts for both the insect and the disease. There is no cure once a tree becomes infected, the diseased tree will decline in health and produce bitter, misshaped fruit until it dies. HLB has been detected just once in California – in 2012 on a single residential property in Hacienda Heights, Los Angeles County. This plant disease does not affect human health.

Residents in the area who think they may have seen ACP or symptoms of HLB on their citrus trees are urged to call CDFA’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899. For more information on the ACP and HLB, please visit: www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/acp.

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ASIAN CITRUS PSYLLID QUARANTINE IN MADERA COUNTY

SACRAMENTO, January 7, 2015 – A portion of Madera County has been placed under Asian citrus psyllid quarantine for the following the detection of one ACP northeast of the City of Madera, in the Madera Lake area. The quarantine zone measures 100-square miles, bordered on the north by Road 603; on the south by Avenue 15; on the west by Road 26; and on the east by the Madera Canal. A link to the quarantine map may be found here: www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/go/acp-qmaps.

The quarantine prohibits the movement of citrus and curry tree nursery stock out of the quarantine area and requires that all citrus fruit be cleaned of leaves and stems prior to moving out of the quarantine area. An exception may be made for nursery stock and budwood grown in USDA-approved structures that are designed to keep ACP and other insects out. Residents with backyard citrus trees in the quarantine area are asked not to transport citrus fruit or leaves, potted citrus trees, or curry leaves from the quarantine area.

ACP county-wide quarantines are now in place in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura counties, with portions of Madera, Fresno, Kern, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Clara counties also under quarantine.

The ACP is an invasive species of grave concern because it can carry the disease huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening. All citrus and closely related species, such as curry trees, are susceptible hosts for both the insect and disease. There is no cure once a tree becomes infected, the diseased tree will decline in health and produce bitter, misshaped fruit until it dies. HLB has been detected just once in California – in 2012 on a single residential property in Hacienda Heights, Los Angeles County. This plant disease does not affect human health.

Residents in the area who think they may have seen ACP or symptoms of HLB on their citrus trees are urged to call CDFA’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899. For more information on the ACP and HLB, please visit: www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/acp .

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NEW TULARE COUNTY ASIAN CITRUS PSYLLID DETECTIONS NEAR EXETER  

BREAKING NEWS 

 

The Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner’s office announced TODAY that one additional Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) has been detected on a trap south of the city of Exeter. The latest interception was confirmed by the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA). Maps and current information are available on the Agricultural Commissioner’s website by visiting: http://agcomm.co.tulare.ca.us/default/.

CDFA has already begun to saturate the affected area with detection traps in order to determine the extent of any infestation.The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) and CDFA will work collaboratively to determine what steps are taken next.

The Asian citrus psyllid is an invasive species of grave concern because it can carry the disease Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening. All citrus and closely related species are susceptible hosts for both the insect and the disease. There is no cure once a tree becomes infected. The diseased tree will decline in health, producing bitter, misshaped fruit until it dies. To date, HLB has been detected on just one residential property in the Hacienda Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles.

“Our staff will continue to support the efforts of our $750 million citrus industry, as well as our residential citrus owners,” said Tulare County Ag Commissioner Marilyn Kinoshita. “I want to emphasize that citrus fruit is safe to eat and the disease is not harmful to human health.”

Residents in the area who think they may have seen the pest are urged to call CDFA’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899 or the Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner at (559) 684-3350. Media inquiries related to technical questions about Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing disease are encouraged to contact Katie Rowland, Account Coordinator for Nuffer, Smith, Tucker Inc. at (661) 817-3638. For additional inofrmaiton, click on the USDA’s Save Our Citrus website.

 

 

 

 

 

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Asian Citrus Psyllid Quarantine Covers Tulare County Completely

UPDATE: The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) Quarantine covers Tulare County, in its entirety, following the detection of two psyllids in the City of Tulare. The first ACP was detected in a trap in a residential neighborhood on September 10, in the City of Tulare.  The second detection was on September 17, also in a residential setting within the City of Tulare.  These detections, when added to previous detections elsewhere in the county, dictate that a county-wide quarantine is the most effective response to contain the pest.  A map is available online at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/go/acp-quarantine 

The quarantine prohibits the movement of host nursery stock out of the quarantine area and requires that all citrus fruit be either cleaned of leaves and stems or treated in a manner to eliminate ACP prior to moving out of the quarantine area.  Residents with backyard citrus trees in the quarantine area are asked to not remove fruit from the quarantine area.

In addition to quarantines in portions of Fresno, Kern, and San Luis Obispo counties, ACP entire-county quarantines remain in place in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties.

The ACP is an invasive species of grave concern because it can carry the disease huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening.  All citrus and closely related species are susceptible hosts for both the insect and the disease.  There is no cure once a tree becomes infected.  The diseased tree will decline in health until it dies.

HLB has been detected just once in California – in 2012 on a single residential property in Hacienda Heights, Los Angeles County.  HLB is known to be present in Mexico and in parts of the southern U.S.  Florida first detected the psyllid in 1998 and the disease in 2005, and the two have 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 disease is present in Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Texas.  The states of Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii, and Mississippi have detected the pest but not the disease.

Residents in the area who think they may have seen the Asian citrus psyllid are urged to call CDFA’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.  For more information on the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing disease, please visit: www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/acp

Featured Photos, Source: M.E. Rogers, M. Luque-Williams, on CDFA website, “ASIAN CITRUS PSYLLID PEST PROFILE

 

Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee Vacancy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is announcing one vacancy on the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee. The Committee advises the CDFA secretary on activities associated with the statewide citrus specific pest and disease work plan that includes, but is not limited to outreach and education programs and programs for surveying, detecting, analyzing, and treating pests and diseases specific to citrus.

The members receive no compensation, but are entitled to payment of necessary travel expenses in accordance with the rules of the Department of Personnel Administration.

A committee member vacancy exists for a grower representative from Tulare County and will expire on September 30, 2017. Applicants should have an interest in agriculture and citrus pest and disease prevention. Individuals interested in being considered for a committee appointment should send a brief resume by November 1, 2014 to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services, 1220 N Street, Room 221, Sacramento, California 95814, Attention: Victoria Hornbaker.

For additional information, contact: Victoria Hornbaker, Program Manager at (916) 654-0317, or e-mail (Victoria.hornbaker@cdfa.ca.gov).

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Asian Citrus Psyllid Quarantine Expansion in Kern County

An additional portion of Kern County has been placed under quarantine for the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) following the detection of one psyllid in a residential neighborhood south of the City of Bakersfield in Kern County.

CDFA officials are going door to door to notify owners of the spray mandate.

The new Asian citrus psyllid quarantine zone measures 113 square miles in and around the City of Bakersfield, bordered on the north by New Stine Road; on the east by S Fairfax Road; on the south by Millux Road; and on the west by Interstate 5.  This area is in addition to the previously announced quarantine areas in Kern County.  A map is available online at:  www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/go/acp-quarantine.

In addition to quarantines in portions of Kern, Fresno, San Luis Obispo, and Tulare counties, ACP entire-county quarantines remain in place in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties.

The ACP is an invasive species of grave concern because it can carry the disease huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening.  All citrus and closely related species are susceptible hosts for both the insect and the disease.  There is no cure once a tree becomes infected.  The diseased tree will decline in health until it dies.

SAVE OUR CITRUS app is a free USDA iPhone to report and identify the four leading citrus diseases: citrus greening, citrus canker, citrus black spot and sweet orange scab. Report your symptoms, upload a photo and  citrus experts will respond.
SAVE OUR CITRUS app is a free USDA iPhone to report and identify the four leading citrus diseases: citrus greening, citrus canker, citrus black spot and sweet orange scab. Report your symptoms, upload a photo and citrus experts will respond.

HLB has been detected just once in California – in 2012 on a single residential property in Hacienda Heights, Los Angeles County.

HLB is known to be present in Mexico and in parts of the southern U.S.  Florida first detected the psyllid in 1998 and the disease in 2005, and the two have 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 disease is present in Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Texas.  The states of Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii, and Mississippi have detected the pest but not the disease.

Residents in the area who think they may have seen the Asian citrus psyllid are urged to call CDFA’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.  For more information on the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing disease, please visit: www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/acp

Featured photo source: UC ANR IPM

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Ag Official on Asian Citrus Psyllid in Tulare County

Marilyn Kinoshita, Tulare County Ag Commissioner, talks about the Asian Citrus Psyllid and how its affecting growers in the area.

“Our growers have the heavy commercial production as opposed to the ranchettes in San Diego Count, so we got more emphasis on spray treatments immediately after a find. We’ve had really good success rate, and so our trapping program is top-notch, so if psyllids are found, we have the ability to eradicate immediately and keep it under control that way,” said Kinoshita.

The Asian Citrus Psyllid, or ACP, is a tiny insect that acts as a carrier of the citrus disease Huanglongbing, also known as citrus greening disease. this bacterial disease is transmitted by the ACP, after it feeds on affected plant tissue.

Without proactive measures such as quarantine and eradication treatments, ACP could have dire consequences for the entire California citrus industry.

“We always knew that we were going to be ground zero. Because we’ve got the most packing sheds in the state, and the most juice facilities, and we’re receiving products from Mexico, Texas, Arizona, and Southern California and our growers need to stay diligent. We got all but 13,000 acres of citrus within the quarantine area, and so that can cause some problems with not having the entire county included,” said Kinoshita.

Citrus Greening Disease has only recently become a problem for California. The first infected plant was discovered in March 2012. It has still caused a concern in that short period of time, as the California Department of Food and Agriculture has found that here is no physical, cultural, or biological methods to completely eradicate ACP.

“So far we are dealing with it, and I have heard that this fall would kind of be the ‘trigger point’ that the Southern California counties saw at the two and a half year point of having Psyllids in their county. So we will see,” said Kinoshita.

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