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APHIS confirms citrus greening in California

Industry News

This marks the first confirmation of this disease in the state

| April 5, 2012

On March 29, 2012, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of citrus greening, also referred to as Huanglongbing, in an Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) sample and plant tissue samples collected from a lemon/pummelo tree in a residential neighborhood in Hacienda Heights, Los Angeles County, California. This is the first confirmation of the disease in California. APHIS is working closely with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), County Agricultural Commissioners, and the California citrus industry to plan and implement communication, response, and regulatory activities in the affected area. CDFA collected the samples during ongoing citrus surveys conducted as part of the cooperative Citrus Health Response Program.

Currently, CDFA is regulating the area under its statutory authority and is in the process of enacting an emergency quarantine in the 5-mile radius around the detection site in an effort to prevent the artificial spread of citrus greening. After CDFA establishes an intrastate quarantine for citrus greening, APHIS will enact a parallel interstate quarantine area. APHIS will publish a description of the area on its website at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/citrus_greening/index.shtml

Since 2008, APHIS has regulated portions of California for ACP, the insect vector responsible for transmitting citrus greening. These areas include all of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura counties, as well as portions of San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Santa Barbara counties.

Citrus greening, a bacterial disease vectored by ACP, is a serious citrus disease that greatly reduces production, destroys the economic value of fruit, and can kill trees. It does not affect human health. Once infected, there is no cure for a tree with citrus greening disease.

For additional information regarding this program, contact Lynn Evans-Goldner, APHIS National Program Manager, at  (301) 851-2286 or Phillip Mason, APHIS Regional Program Manager, at (970) 494-7565.

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