UC and Israel Sign Agricultural Research Agreement

California and Israel Face Similar Challenges

By Pam Kan-Rice, UC ANR News
From left, Ermias Kebreab, Eli Feinerman, and Mark Bell sign the agreement for Israel and California scientists to collaborate more on water-related research and education.

Pledging to work together to solve water scarcity issues, Israel’s Agricultural Research Organization signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources and UC Davis recently. The signing ceremony kicked off the 2018 Future of Water for Irrigation in California and Israel Workshop at the UC ANR building in Davis.

“Israel and California agriculture face similar challenges, including drought and climate change,” said Doug Parker, director of UC ANR’s California Institute for Water Resources. “In the memorandum of understanding, Israel’s Agricultural Research Organization, UC Davis and UC ANR pledge to work together more on research involving water, irrigation, technology and related topics that are important to both water-deficit countries.”

The agreement will enhance collaboration on research and extension for natural resources management in agriculture, with an emphasis on soil, irrigation and water resources, horticulture, food security and food safety.

“It’s a huge pleasure for us to sign an MOU with the world leaders in agricultural research like UC Davis and UC ANR,” said Eli Feinerman, director of Agricultural Research Organization of Israel. “When good people, smart people collaborate, the sky is the limit.”

Feinerman, Mark Bell (UC ANR vice provost) and Ermias Kebreab (UC Davis professor and associate vice provost of academic programs and global affairs) represented their respective institutions for the signing. Karen Ross (California Department of Food and Agriculture secretary) and Shlomi Kofman (Israel’s consul general to the Pacific Northwest) joined in celebrating the partnership.

“The important thing is to keep working together and develop additional frameworks that can bring the people of California and Israel together as researchers,” Kofman said. “But also to work together to make the world a better place.”

Ross said, “It’s so important for us to find ways and create forums to work together because water is the issue in this century and will continue to be.”

She explained that earlier this year, the World Bank and United Nations reported that 40 percent of the world population is living with water scarcity. 

“Over 700,000 people are at risk of relocation due to water scarcity,” Ross said. “We’re already seeing the refugee issues that are starting to happen because of drought, food insecurity and the lack of water.”

Ross touted the progress stemming from CDFA’s Healthy Soils Program to promote healthy soils on California’s farmlands and ranchlands and SWEEP, the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program, which has provided California farmers $62.7 million in grants for irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gases and save water on agricultural operations.

“We need the answers of best practices that come from academia, through demonstration projects so that our farmers know what will really work,” Ross said.

As Parker opened the water workshop, sponsored by the U.S./Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development (BARD) Program, Israel Agricultural Research Organization and UC ANR, he told the scientists, “The goal of this workshop is really to be creating new partnerships, meeting new people, networking and finding ways to work together in California with Israel, in Israel, with other parts of the world as well.”

Drawing on current events, Bell told the attendees, “If you look at the World Cup, it’s about effort, it’s about teamwork, it’s about diversity of skills, and I think that’s what this event does. It brings together those things.”

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Water Diversion Lessons from Australia

Australian Water Woes: Water Diversion Will Not Save Fish

 

By Laurie Greene, Editor

 

Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition, spoke to the CDFA Board of Directors about the State Water Resources Control Board’s proposed strategy of diverting up to 40 percent of the Tuolumne River flows to increase flows in the Delta for salmon and smelt. The diversion would severely impact farm and city water needs in both the Turlock Irrigation District (TID) and Oakdale Irrigation District (OID).

 

“Despite increased [water] flows over the years, the fish populations continue to decline in the Delta,” Wade said. “We have exacerbated this problem. We have released water with the intent going back to 2008 and 2009 [scenarios] and even before, if you want to turn the clock back to 1992, and yet we’re still seeing population crashes.”

 

“The science is showing that fish are not recovering. Yet, the California Department of Water Resources is doubling down on the same kind of activity—the same strategy—that hasn’t worked in the past and that we do not expect to work moving forward,” he said.

 

Mike Wade
Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition.

 

“That is why schools, health departments, farmers, Latinos, economic development departments have opposed the regulation. A host of folks have come out and commented, written letters, and expressed their opinion on the plan because of the severe economic issues they are going to deal with at the 40% impaired flow level.”

 

Wade noted that in recent years, a lot of attention has focused on Australia and how great they are at water management. People commend their effectiveness in changing their water rights system and supposedly improving their ecosystem—or having a plan to work on their ecosystem issues. “In 2009, the vast agricultural production in the Murray-Darling Basin Authority established a flow amount, or a quantity, for environmental water that was around 2.2 million acre-feet. That is out of around 26.4 million acre-feet of average annual flow in the Murray-Darling Basin,” Wade said.

 

“To set the stage, the Murray-Darling Basin is in eastern Australia. It extends in the north around 800 miles from Gold Coast and the border of Queensland all the way south to Melbourne,” Wade said. “It is actually a geographic area about the size of California and remarkably has a very similar quantity of water to serve its farmers. The Murray-Darling Basin Authority set a 2.2 million acre-foot environmental water buyback for the environment, like we are talking about here.”

 

Wade conveyed to the CDFA Board what his friends in Australia were telling him. “I was there for two weeks in August following up on a trip I took in 2012 to learn about their water supply issues and how they deal with it. My friends are telling me, ‘Don’t do what we do. It has been a disaster,’” Wade said.

 

“The environmental sector hasn’t even achieved their full environmental buyback goal, and they’re already seeing 35% unemployment in some towns. It is directly related to the water buybacks, the declining amount of irrigation water, and the declining agriculture economy because of the change in focus on how they deliver and use water in Australia,” he said.

 

“Three weeks ago—this is how recent these things are coming about and how they’re changing—a good friend of mine, Michael Murray, Cotton Australia general manager, said the ‘Just Add Water’ approach already in place doesn’t work in the Northern Basin. It has to be abandoned. And recently, Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia, Inc. of Australia President Jeremy Morton said, ‘The over-recovery of water has resulted in unnecessary economic harm to communities. It’s a case of maximum pain with minimum gain.'”

 

“A dozen organizations are suggesting this isn’t just a, ‘Don’t do it’ and ‘Abandon the environmental water buybacks.’ What they’re suggesting is the exact same thing that TID and OID are going to experience. Australia’s problems in the Murray-Darling Basin are, remarkably, invasive species, the loss of habitat, and some of the water quality issues that we deal with. It’s the same story, only they are a few years ahead of us,” Wade said.

 

“What has happened in Australia is going to happen to us in the Valley, with big unemployment issues and the closed businesses,” Wade said. “I walked down the main street in the town of Helston and half of the businesses—I’m not exaggeratinghalf of the businesses were boarded up and closed. Only small businesses were still open, such as a convenience store, a bar and a tailor. All the rest were gone.”

 

Wade asked CDFA Secretary Karen Ross to extend the comment period for the Water Board’s proposal. “We all need to have an opportunity to bring some of these issues to light and to support what’s going on in the agriculture community. We must support the need for comprehensive economic studies, either bringing out the ones that have been done or doing some more. We have more economic data will show there is an economic hit that’s deeper, much deeper, that what is proposed or suggested in the plan.”

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Eighteen New California Farm Academy Graduates!

Eighteen New Farmers Graduate from California Farm Academy

 

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

 

The California Farm Academy, a part-time, seven-month, beginning farmer training program run by the Land-Based Learning, graduated 18 new farmers on Sunday, September 18, 2016.

 

With more than 250 hours of classroom and field training behind them, these enterprising graduates were honored by notables such as Karen Ross, secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA); Craig McNamara, president and owner of Sierra Orchards, as well as president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture; Sri Sethuratnam, director, California Farm Academy (CFA); and Mary Kimball, executive director, Center for Land-Based Learning, based in Winters California.

new farmers graduate from California Farm Academy beginning farmer training program run by the Land-Based Learning.
Eighteen new farmers graduated from California Farm Academy’s beginning farmer training program run by the Center for Land-Based Learning.

 

“The impetus of our program,” said Christine McMorrow, director of development for Land-Based Learning, “is the need for more farmers as the current ones age out. According to the USDA, over 700,000 new farmers will be needed in the next 20 years to replace those who retire.

 

CFA teachers, farmers, academic faculty and staff, and agricultural, natural resource and business professionals, teach CFA students basic production agricultural practices; crop planning; soil science; pest management; organic agriculture; irrigation and water management; marketing; ecology and conservation; obtaining loans, insurance and permits; farm financials; human resource management; risk management; farm safety; regulatory compliance and problem-solving.

 

McMorrow stated, “These folks have been with us since February, following a rigorous application process. A lot of these folks either have land they have dreamed of farming but did not know how to put it into production. Some of them come from farming families, but they wanted to get involved in the family business on their own. They may have been in a different career and now want to do something new or different. Perhaps they haven’t studied agriculture or they have not seen much agriculture other than what their family does, so this is an opportunity for them to learn and to explore a new business idea.

 

“We only take people who are serious about production agriculture. This is not a program for somebody who thinks, ‘I’ve got an acre in my backyard and I really want to grow something.’ While that’s a cool thing to do, the academy is not for those people.”

 

“Our graduating farmers, who range in age from their late 20s to early 50s, each wrote a business plan and presented it to folks within the agriculture industry,” said McMorrow. “They also planted some of their own crops on a farm in Winters.

 

McMorrow elaborated, “These new farmers have been able to create their own networks, having made contact with more than 40 different folks within the agricultural industry throughout the time they spent with us. These networks include local farmers around Yolo County, Solano County, Sacramento County, and other regions, and will help our graduates realize their dreams.”

 

California Farm Academy (CFA) We grow farmers

“This is the fifth class that has graduated,” explained McMorrow, “and mind you, these folks are doing lots of different things. Some of them already have their own land, some are going to work for someone who has land, some will work other farmers, and some will go into a food-related business.”

 

“Still others will stay and lease small plots of land from us,” McMorrow commented, “to start their own farming business. Beginning farmers face huge barriers to getting started, the biggest of which is access to land, capital and infrastructure. So, to get their farming businesses started, California Farm Academy alumni are eligible to lease land at sites in West Sacramento, Davis and Winters at a very low cost.”


The Center for Land-Based Learning exists to cultivate opportunity.

For the land.

For youth.

For the environment.

For business.

For the economy.

For the future of agriculture.

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LGBTQ+ Agriculture Summit

Cultivating Change: Building A Network of LGBTQ+ Agriculturists

June 8th – 11th, 2016 Kicks off the 2nd Annual Cultivating Change Summit In Sacramento

The Cultivating Change Foundation is hosting their 2nd annual Cultivating Change Summit designed to explore and empower the intersection of the agriculture industry and the LGBTQ+ communityLesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender and Questioning  (and allies)a group of people rarely represented in either of the communities of which they are a part, the agriculture community or the LGBTQ+ community, for the most unique professional development conference ever. 

CDFA LOGOParticipants can go to http://www.cultivatingchangefoundation.org and register to join this important conversation. The Summit is the first of its kind providing a safe space for LGBTQ+ agriculturalists and people who love and respect them to come together and connect through a shared experience. With over 200 participants from industry leaders to innovators uniting June 8th-11th, in Sacramentothe epicenter and capital of the number one agriculture producing state in the nation, with a common goal of amplifying and elevating this global conversation. This Summit will allow LGBTQ+ agriculturists of theUSDA past, present, and future to see that they are not alone and recognize the Ag industry needs all of us for a sustainable future.

“It is important that the community come together to share information and best practices, not only to ensure we all reach our full potential, but also to support one another as so many LGBTQ people across the country contribute daily to our rural and agriculture communities.” – Ashlee Davis, LGBT Rural Summit Series, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Over the three days, the Cultivating Change Summit will have 40 speakers, workshop presenters, and keynotes delivering content focused on four different areas: agricultural education, production agriculture, government and policy in agriculture, and urban agriculture. Some of the Summit’s distinguished guests include the California State Secretary of Agriculture, Karen Ross, and the President of California Farm Bureau, Paul Wenger. Representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture, Sacramento government officials, and individuals from global agricultural companies will be present.

CFBF logoThe main summit events will take place at the Crest Theatre in Downtown Sacramento, 1013 K Street. The final day of the summit will include tours of Northern California’s Agriculture landscape and local agricultural operations.

“I’ve waited more than 20 years for someone to start the conversation. I believe in Cultivating Change! Let’s do this!” – Rob Larew, Staff Director, US House Committee on Agriculture.

About The Cultivating Change Foundation

Founded in 2015, the Cultivating Change Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, focuses on valuing and elevating minorities in agrarian communities through innovation, education, and advocacy.

Tickets are available for the Cultivating Change Summit and can be purchased through the website for $225. Special group ticket packages, sponsorship opportunities, and a detailed schedule are also available online. Visit www.cultivatingchangefoundation.org for more information.

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Ag Day at the Capitol

Ag Day Celebration at the Capitol

By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor

 

In honor of National Agriculture Week, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will partner with the California Women for Agriculture and the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom to host the state’s annual celebration of agriculture, California Ag Day at the Capitol in Sacramento tomorrow, Wednesday, March 16, 2016. Karen Ross, secretary of the CDFA, said she is excited for the event, which highlights the diversity of California’s agriculture.

National ag day logo“Our theme for this year’s Annual Ag Day at the Capitol is ‘Golden State on Your Plate,'” said Ross, “to honor our farmers and ranchers and all they provide. Legislators, staffers and the public will have the opportunity to shake a farmer’s hand and advance our shared understanding of the importance of our food supply. In addition to approximately 40 agricultural booths and exhibits, Buttercup the electronic cow, a favorite of children, will return to the Capitol for robotic milking demonstrations.  

“We’ve been watching the weather,” Ross said, cautiously. “We would not mind being in the rain, but it looks like we’re going to have a day of sunshine and 70-degree weather.”

Sheila Bowen, president of the California CattleWomen (CCW), said CCW and California Women for Agriculture members will attend tomorrow’s Ag Day at the Capitol, alongside many other agriculture organizations. “In addition to giving out our brochures,” Bowen said, “we’ll be giving out tri-tip sliders to the guests who come to the Capitol.”

The celebration will be held on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for legislators and staff, and from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for the public at the California State Capitol grounds, west steps.

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Ag Collaboration with the Netherlands

Karen Ross: Ag Collaboration with the Netherlands

By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor

 

One of the best ways to overcome the challenges that arise in farming, is ag collaboration with countries that have already found solutions to the issues we face.

Karen Ross, secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture, led a delegation of Californians to the Netherlands last month, “for shared discussion on all of the ways we can collaborate on climate-smart agriculture,” Ross said, “including water-use efficiency and improved fertilizer use.”

“In particular, the Netherlands has a shared issue with us—nitrates in groundwater—and what we can do to improve our water management and fertilizer management to avoid that. They’re doing some interesting things with greenhouse technologies and salt-tolerant crops, so we saw some real opportunities. We had university people with us to do some trials here.”

Ross’s group was able to visit Wageningen UR (University & Research centre), Netherlands’ prominent agriculture university. She said between the University of California, Davis and the Dutch university, “we found ways that we can collaborate together to find the solutions that are not just about here in California,” Ross said. “If we can solve these problems on water-use efficiency, desalinating brackish water, and salt-tolerant crop issues in California, we will make a contribution to solving these problems on a global basis.”

Ross’s team also visited many farmers, primarily of specialty crops. Ross commented, “We saw some of their digester technology, which we know is one of the solutions for our dairies. We really want to advance that technology, make it affordable and provide value to our dairies.”

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Ross Supports Desalination

CDFA’s Karen Ross Supports Desalination Plants

By Brian German, Associate Editor

 

Following the opening of the Carlsbad Desalination Plant near San Diego, the largest seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere, CalAgToday asked CDFA Secretary Karen Ross if she views desalination as a possible solution to the drought-induced water reductions in California.

“Desalination is an important part of the solution,” answered Ross. “Israel has really advanced this technology and there is much for us to learn about its use from Israel.”

Israel has had great success in battling drought by building many desalination plants along the Mediterranean Sea. The plants provide fresh desal water to the cities, which is used, cleaned and recycled for use on the country’s farms.

Ross continued, “I am especially optimistic about the use of practical smaller-scale desal projects to reuse our brackish water—the more inland saline water. Our researchers can use this technology to help us solve the ‘brine waste’ problem; it will absolutely be part of our new water picture. There is no single solution to our water picture, and I think we need to look to Israel to learn from their experiences as well.”

“’There is, no doubt, a cost to this new technology, but by figuring out the technology and foçusing on smaller scale projects, we should be able to scale this up to a point that will make it cost-effective,” said Ross. “Let’s face it, the value of the water it brings back for reuse is potentially going to change the price we all pay for it. But we really need to focus on improving this technology and getting those costs down as much as we possibly can.”

“The Carlsbad plant is a billion dollar investment, which is overwhelming and intimidating,” said Ross. “But when we amortize the cost and calculate what it means per household, this investment represents a very important source of supplemental water that also gives us some flexibility and resiliency for the next drought, and the one after that. Our circumstances are different than ten or twenty years ago, so the costs pencil out in a different way.”

________________________________

The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant is a 50 million gallon per day (56,000 acre-feet per year (AFY)) seawater desalination plant located adjacent to the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad, California. Desalination has evolved into a desirable water supply alternative by tapping the largest reservoir in the world – the Pacific Ocean. The technology, available for decades, is at work in many arid areas of the world including the Middle East, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. A 30-year Water Purchase Agreement is in place between the San Diego County Water Authority and Poseidon Water for the entire output of the plant. The plant has been delivering water to the businesses and residents of San Diego County since December 2015.

________________________________

Poseidon Water, the developer and owner of the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, is a privately held company that develops and invests in water projects throughout North America. Poseidon offers customized solutions to meet the water needs of municipal governments, businesses and industrial clients.

________________________________

The Huntington Beach Desalination Project is also a 50-million gallon per day facility currently in late-stage development, also by Poseidon Water. Located adjacent to the AES Huntington Beach Power Station, the plant is scheduled to be operational by 2018.

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Karen Ross on Ag Innovation

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross on Ag Innovation

 

The next big thing is always right around the corner. Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, said while that may be so, farmers should be consulted to help with ag innovation–the creation of the next big thing–so both farmers and innovators will benefit.

“Here’s what we need to go to the next generation of innovation, so come talk to us early; don’t just come and say ‘we’ve got your solution,’” Ross said. “We manage a vast biological system, a complex system on the farming side, that responds to fast-moving markets on the consumer side. So don’t divorce yourself from us in the industry. Truly understand what we need and how we put together all these complex moving parts to meet consumer needs and expectations in the marketplace.”

Ross said while farmers are always willing to listen to a new way of doing things, involving them in the process and providing access to the data that demonstrates the need for a new product would be more beneficial.

“Farmers are always open to ‘is there a better way?’” Ross said. “But they want the data. They like to see some demonstration of that data—which comes back to partnering with our academic institutions and Cooperative Extension. Don’t just come out and sell me something; show me the data; show me the demonstration projects. Let me kick the tires. Maybe, I’ll put in a few acres of that this year. It’s not just a sales job. You’ve got to partner with the farmer. And if you do, you’re going to come up with a much better product.”

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2014 Fresno County Crop Report Sets Record Production

2014 Fresno County Crop Report Sets Record Production — $7 billion+

Les Wright, Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer submitted the following information to Karen Ross, California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary, TODAY accompanied by the 2014 Fresno County Crop Report showing record production.

It is my pleasure to submit the 2014 Fresno County Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report. This report is produced in accordance with Sections 2272 and 2279 of the California Food and Agriculture Code, and summarizes the acreage, production, and value of Fresno County’s agricultural products. The figures contained herein represent gross returns to the producer, and do not reflect actual net profit.

Jacobson, Wright and Matoian
Photo, from left, Ryan Jacobson, Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO, Les Wright, Fresno County Ag Commissioner and Richard Matoian, American Pistachio Growers Executive Director

This report is a testament to the resiliency and determination of the Fresno County agricultural industry. For the first time ever, the gross value of Fresno County agriculture exceeds seven billion dollars. Almonds remain the number one crop at a value of 1.3 billion dollars with grapes a close second at $905 million.

The total gross production value of Fresno County agricultural commodities in 2014 was $ 7,039,861,000, a 9.26 percent increase from the 2013 production value of $6,443,236,500.

Increases were seen in:

  • vegetable crops (0.47% = $5,599,000)
  • fruit and nut crops (13.16%= $422,664,000)
  • nursery products (46.89%= $20,022,000)
  • livestock and poultry (31.48% = $301,144,000)
  • livestock and poultry products (22.09% = $116,299,000
  • apiary (17.39% = $10,738,000)
  • industrial crops (107.05% = $3,795,500).

Decreases in:

  • field crops (-36.20%= -$149,822,000)
  • seed crops (-14.67%= -$5,823,000).

I would like to express my appreciation to the many producers, processors, and agencies, both private and public, who supported our efforts in producing this report. I would also like to thank all my staff, especially Fred Rinder, Scotti Walker, Angel Gibson, Vera Scott-Slater, and Billy Hopper. Without their hard work and valuable input this report would not be possible.

Pistachios, featured on the cover of the 2014 Fresno County Crop Report, were Fresno County’s seventh top crop last year, with a value of nearly $380 million dollars.

The top nut—and crop, for that matter—was almonds, followed by grapes, poultry, milk, cattle and calves, tomatoes, pistachios, garlic, peaches and cotton.

Also included in the report was this quote from President John F. Kennedy:

Our farmers deserve praise, not condemnation; and their efficiency should be cause for gratitude, not something for which they are penalized.

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URGENT HLB Quarantine UPDATE

HLB Quarantine Update

A Huanglongbing (HLB) quarantine is now in effect in part of Los Angeles County following the detection of HLB in four citrus trees.

On July 10, a kumquat tree on a residential property was confirmed to be infected with the incurable HLB disease. After extensive surveying and testing in the area, three more diseased trees were found nearby. The four diseased trees were on four separate properties close to one another. The tree varieties include kumquat, lime, mandarin and calamondin.

California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has already removed two of the diseased trees and is currently working with the homeowners at the other two properties to remove those trees as soon as possible. See the CDFA press release below for more details on the resulting quarantine.

QUARANTINE FOR HUANGLONGBING DECLARED IN SAN GABRIEL, LOS ANGELES COUNTY

SaveOurCitrusSACRAMENTO, July 22, 2015 – An 87-square mile quarantine in the San Gabriel area of Los Angeles County has been added to the existing huanglongbing (HLB) quarantine in the Hacienda Heights-area following the detection of the citrus disease huanglongbing, or citrus greening.

Additional information, including a map of the quarantine zone, is available at the CDFA Save Our Citrus website The quarantine boundaries are: on the north, E. Orange Grove Boulevard; on the east, N. Lemon Avenue; on the west, Griffin Avenue; and on the south W. La Habra Boulevard.

This area is part of a much larger quarantine already in place for the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), the pest that spreads bacteria causing huanglongbing (HLB). The new quarantine will prohibit the movement of all nursery stock out of the area, while maintaining existing provisions allowing the movement of only commercially cleaned and packed citrus fruit. Any fruit that is not commercially cleaned and packed, including residential citrus, must not be removed from the property on which it is grown, although it may be processed and/or consumed on the premises.

“The success of any quarantine depends on cooperation from those affected,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “The stakes couldn’t be higher for California citrus. We urge residents in the San Gabriel-area to do all they can to comply.”

CDFA, the USDA and the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner’s continue their work to investigate the source of the disease, to survey and test for it throughout the Los Angeles Basin, and to continue with ground treatment of citrus trees within 800 meters of the find sites – which began earlier this week. In the long term, the strategy is to control the spread of ACPs while researchers work to find a cure for the disease.

Huanglongbing has been confirmed four times in San Gabriel, in a kumquat tree on a residential property, in a lime tree on an adjacent residential property, and in calamondin and mandarin trees on residential properties in close proximity to the original find. The disease is bacterial and attacks the vascular system of plants. It does not pose a threat to humans or animals. The Asian citrus psyllid can spread the bacteria as the pest feeds on citrus trees and other related plants. Once a tree is infected, there is no cure; it typically declines and dies within a few years.

Huanglongbing is known to be present in Mexico and in parts of the southern U.S. Florida first detected the disease in 2005, and the University of Florida estimates that the disease causes an average loss of 7,513 jobs per year, and has cost growers $2.994 billion in lost revenue since then. Huanglongbing has also been detected in Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A total of 15 states or territories are under full or partial quarantine due to the presence of the ACP: Alabama, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Asian citrus psyllid was first detected in California in 2008 and quarantines for the pest are now in place in 17 California counties. If Californians believe they have seen evidence of huanglongbing in local citrus trees, they are asked to please call CDFA’s toll-free pest hotline at 1-800-491-1899 FREE. For more information on the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing, please visit: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/acp/.

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