California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura has issued the following statement regarding the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement today of $5.8 million to stop the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid in California:

“I applaud USDA’s announcement of $5.8 million to help fight this important citrus pest. The Asian citrus psyllid can spread an incurable citrus disease known as huanglongbing or citrus greening. Now that we have detected the pest in California, we have quickly mounted an effort to determine how extensive the infestation is and to halt its spread before it reaches our major citrus producing areas. USDA’s support has been instrumental from the start, and citrus growers have also played an active part in getting the word out and getting this project up and running quickly. This funding will strengthen and accelerate the work we have already begun.

“When we find an invasive pest near an international border, as we have with Asian citrus psyllid in southern San Diego and Imperial counties, the support of our federal counterparts at USDA is integral to the long-term success of our efforts. Their strong and collaborative relationship with Mexican officials will be important as both countries work to solve this shared problem. I am grateful for USDA’s quick action to fund activities that will help keep this pest from causing major damage to California’s citrus groves.”

Additional information about the Asian citrus psyllid, the disease huanglongbing, and ongoing efforts to detect and control the infestation is available online at www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/acp.

The USDA’s press release announcing the $5.8 million in funding is available online at www.usda.gov.