Severns said grower acceptance of the ideas he shared at the Dinuba meeting seem to be positive.

“Growers know what we’re up against,” Severns said.

What Severns is promoting are over-and-above measures citrus growers and others involved in the industry should do in addition to government mandated practices.

“We need to buy ourselves some time with this bug,” Severns said. “Everywhere this bug has been discovered we’ve eventually seen HLB. It’s important that we slow its movement long enough to buy ourselves time to address HLB.”

Severns said not all is doom-and-gloom. The association he manages is in the midst of an expansion project to add significant cold storage capacity and local growers are still planting new trees.

“You don’t do things like that unless you remain optimistic about the industry,” he said.

Since the Dinuba citrus grower meeting, an additional quarantine zone was added in Tulare County to reflect Kinoshita’s report of a psyllid discovery near Exeter. That quarantine encompasses 86 square miles and takes in all of Exeter and most of the communities of Lindsay to the south and Farmersville to the northwest. This is in addition to the 90-plus square miles in the Dinuba area and the 178 square-mile area surrounding Porterville.

According to Kinoshita, 55 of Tulare County’s 62 citrus packing houses are now within one of three quarantine zones.

The Dinuba quarantine zone, which already stretched into neighboring Fresno County, was expanded further into Fresno County in early October as an ACP was discovered on a trap in Fresno County. Local Ag officials were unable to release the new quarantine boundaries as of press time.

Quarantine information and regulatory compliance agreement forms related to the movement of citrus in quarantine zones can be found online at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/PE/InteriorExclusion/acp_quarantine_sjv.html.

Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program grower liaisons can be contacted at:

For more information on the ACP quarantines and about regulatory compliance issues, contact the ACP Project Office in Visalia at 345 East Tulare Ave., Suite M, Visalia, CA 93277, or at (559) 636-7410.

 

tfitchette@farmpress.com

 

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