California Department of Food and Agriculture extends Asian citrus psyllid efforts

California Department of Food and Agriculture extends Asian citrus psyllid efforts

The Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program will continue its efforts to limit the spread of the pest and accompanying disease.

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July 31, 2017
Press Release
Association News Diseases Pests

SACRAMENTO – California growers have affirmed the extension of a cooperative effort in response to the most serious threat to the state’s citrus crops.  Years before the discovery of the citrus pest the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) in California in 2008 and the subsequent detection in 2012 of Huanglongbing (HLB), the disease spread by the ACP, California’s citrus growers had begun preparations for the arrival of this dual threat. Research and education efforts began well before the pest and disease were detected in Southern California, and since then a governing committee of citrus industry representatives has guided the state’s comprehensive response and advised the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

Huanglongbing is fatal for citrus trees and has no cure. The disease has been detected in more than 70 citrus trees in California, which have all been in urban areas of Los Angeles and Orange counties and have been removed. The Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program (CPDPP) — funded through industry assessments and state and federal funds — guides efforts to limit spread of the disease and the ACP, which can spread HLB from tree to tree as it feeds.

The program was created in 2009 by legislation that included requirements for periodic hearings to review progress and give the industry and the public an opportunity to weigh in. Following a recent series of such hearings, the California Department of Food and Agriculture has determined it will continue the Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program.

“It has never been more important to protect California’s citrus farmers, which represent a $3 billion economic driver for our state and 20,000 jobs,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “The feedback CDFA received from the industry was overwhelmingly supportive of this program.”

Five hearings were held in June in citrus production areas to determine whether the program and its governing committee, both established in 2009, should continue for four more years. All comments received at the public hearings and in written submissions to the Department were supportive. No question of opposition was raised. Therefore, the Department determined a referendum is not warranted.

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