In the past few months, we have seen sporadic Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) detections popping up across California. While the citrus industry’s efforts have thus far kept Huanglongbing (HLB) out of commercial groves, these recent ACP detections are a reminder that we cannot let our guard down. The most effective way to prevent the spread of HLB is to keep psyllids out of our orchards.
After ACP detections in multiple counties (Kern, Madera, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Tulare, Contra Costa and others) were confirmed earlier this fall — including areas with historically low ACP activity — the Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Committee is encouraging all growers to stay informed, scout for ACP and treat when advised.
The recommendations outlined in the Voluntary Grower Response Plan, developed collaboratively by growers and scientists, represent the most effective tools known to the citrus industry at this time and are meant to supplement the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s required regulatory response. You can help prevent the spread of ACP by following these best practices, participating in recommended winter treatments and ensuring haulers and transporters are tarping loads.
While we should expect to see this type of “flare up” occasionally, we need to remain vigilant – even when things are quiet – to ensure we continue to stay on top of this elusive pest and the dangerous disease it spreads. The upfront cost to manage ACP is much less than the potential hit to our industry if HLB spreads throughout the state. To date, HLB has only been identified in backyard citrus trees in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and hasn’t made its way into a commercial citrus grove yet. To keep HLB out of commercial citrus, psyllid control is especially critical this season with warmer weather encouraging more pests.
Here is what you can do:
- Follow the best practices outlined in the Voluntary Grower Response Plan for Huanglongbing
- Participate in treatment strategies recommended by the University of California (UC)
- Adhere to tarping regulations that help keep pests from hitching a ride to new areas of the state
Visit citrusinsider.org for more information and resources on the voluntary grower best practices, tarping regulations and UC treatment recommendations.
Contact your regional grower liaison for the latest information on detections near you and coordinated or area-wide treatment schedules. Find your grower liaison here.
Let’s work together to protect California citrus for your businesses, neighbors and generations to come.
Chair, Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Committee