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APHIS confirms citrus greening in Texas

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Regulators established a 5-mile quarantine around the infected orchard

| January 23, 2012

On Jan. 13, 2012, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of citrus greening, also referred to as Huanglongbing, in plant tissue samples collected from a sweet orange tree located in a commercial citrus grove in the San Juan area of Hidalgo County, Texas.

The sample was collected from a symptomatic tree during ongoing citrus surveys conducted as part of the cooperative Citrus Health Response Program. Since 2009, APHIS has regulated the entire State of Texas for the Asian citrus psyllid, the insect vector responsible for transmitting citrus greening.

APHIS, in cooperation with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and the Texas citrus industry, is responding to this find with additional surveys, control, and regulatory activities.

A temporary emergency quarantine expired on Jan. 20. TDA and USDA established a 5-mile quarantine around the infected orchard. APHIS will publish a description of citrus greening quarantine areas in Texas at:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/citrus_greening/index.shtml

Texas is the second-leading state in grapefruit production and ranks third in orange production with about 28,295 acres in commercial citrus production in the Rio Grande Valley. The primary citrus counties are Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy.

“With a statewide economic impact of more than $140 million, our citrus industry is a vital part of the Texas agricultural economy and the economy of the Rio Grande Valley,” said Texas Ag Commissioner Todd Staples. “TDA will aggressively work with USDA and our industry partners to protect our vital citrus industry.”
 

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