The Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA) has established a 20-mile quarantine area in Yuma County, Ariz., following the third Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) find which threatens the area’s citrus industry.

The quarantine is centered in Somerton where the third insect was discovered. The quarantine area includes most of the citrus production areas in Yuma County.

A map of the quarantine area is available online at www.azda.gov/PSD/ACP%20Quarantine%20Map.pdf.

The ADA administrative quarantine order is located at www.azda.gov/PSD/ACP%20DAO%2009-06.pdf.

The quarantine impacts where growers and packers can ship citrus grown in the area. ADA, working with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, secured an exemption for shipments to some major export markets, and is in negotiations on others.

Fruit from some groves east of the quarantine can be exported without restriction if packed outside the quarantine area.

Yuma County residents are asked not to transport backyard fruit outside the quarantine area.

About 75 percent of Arizona’s $61 million commercial citrus industry (2007-2008 figures) is grown in Yuma County (mostly lemons).

ADA will initiate treatments with the cooperation of property owners around the psyllid finds to reduce insect spread.

The ACP is the primary vector of Huanglongbing (HLB) disease or citrus greening. HLB has not been found in Arizona. HLB-infected trees decline in health resulting in tree death within several years.

The ACP was found in California last summer in San Diego County. The pest has also been found in Imperial, Orange, and Los Angeles counties. HLB has not been found in California.

Florida was the first U.S. state to find the psyllid (1998). HLB was found in 2005. The disease has caused the removal of 200,000 acres of Florida citrus trees.

The pest and disease are also present in Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina. The states of California, Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama have detected the pest but not the disease.

For more information, contact Laura Oxley at (602) 542-1094.

email: cblake@farmpress.com