San Joaquin Valley citrus growers are urged to contact their local California Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program  (CPDPP) grower liaison for more information and assistance; Kern County – Judy Zaninovich - (559) 730-8691; Tulare County – Bob Wagner - (559) 730-1200; and Fresno/Madera counties – Sylvie Robillard - (559) 730-8690.

Additional information and the ACP and HLB can be found online at: www.citrusinsider.org, http://californiacitrusthreat.org, and www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/acp/index.html

Several sampling and treatment strategies were recommended by Beth Grafton-Cardwell, IPM specialist and research entomologist with the University of California, Riverside. These include:

  • Aggressive sampling for ACP;
  • Do not rely on yellow sticky cards alone;
  • Use tap and visual sampling to check orchards at the edge of orchard blocks and in the middle of the block. Sample at least 10 trees;
  • If an adult ACP is found, place it them in 90 percent alcohol for HLB testing. Report it to the county ag commissioner;
  • For immature ACP stages, flag the tree, Contact the county ag commissioner to collect it;
  • When ACP is found, treat the area quickly;
  • Treat over a wide area; and,
  • Use effective insecticides.

According to several officials in the room, Tulare County still has the opportunity to eradicate the pest from commercial orange groves and urban citrus trees since the number of ACP finds remains quite small.

In areas where the ACP is established (Southern California for example), pest management with the goal to slow HLB spread into commercial groves is a more realistic option until research can find cures for the disease.

California has a single confirmed case of HLB, found in a single tree in the Hacienda Heights neighborhood in Los Angeles County. The tree was destroyed.

In related news, CDFA extended the CPDPP, the funding mechanism approved by citrus growers to protect against citrus threats including ACP and HLB. Based on state projections, CPDPP producer assessments are expected this year to generate $15 million.

The CPDPP and its related committee were created by legislation in 2009 in response to widespread discoveries of the ACP. The 17-member committee of citrus growers advises the CDFA Secretary and the agricultural industry about efforts to combat serious pest and diseases which threaten the state’s citrus crop.

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