The movement of citrus fruit and plant material within two zones encompassing 163-square miles in Tulare County, Calif. is restricted following detections of Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) in the Lindsay-Strathmore and Terra Bella areas.
The restricted areas encompass two five-mile radius zones surrounding the find sites.
The restrictions prohibit the movement of nursery stock out of the zones unless it has been grown in approved pest-resistant structures. Citrus fruit may move outside the zones if it has been commercially cleaned and packed, which includes the removal of stems and leaves.
(For more, see: California citrus growers schooling on Florida for coming HLB war)
Any fruit that is not commercially cleaned and packed, including residential citrus, must not be removed from the property on which it is grown, although it may be processed and/or consumed on the premises.
Due to variations with standard quarantine protocol for this pest, these restrictions, technically, are not considered a quarantine.
This is an interim step, permitted under state law, to protect against the spread of the pest while California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Tulare County agricultural commissioner’s office continue to evaluate whether the detections are evidence of an established ACP population, or non-breeding hitchhikers brought into the corridor along State Highway 65 from infested counties in Southern California.
Additional information, including maps of the restricted areas, is available at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/PE/InteriorExclusion/acp_restrictedareas.html.
The ACP-carried disease Huanglongbing (citrus greening), which is fatal to citrus, has not been detected in Tulare County and to date has been found at just one property in California – in Hacienda Heights in Los Angeles County.
Huanglongbing is present in Mexico and parts of the southern U.S.
Florida first detected the pest in 1998 and the disease in 2005. The two have now been detected in all 30 citrus-producing counties in the state.
The University of Florida estimates the disease has tallied more than 6,600 lost jobs, $1.3 billion in lost revenue to growers, and $3.6 billion in lost economic activity.
The disease is also present in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Hawaii, Arizona, Mississippi, and Alabama have detected the pest but not the disease.
The ACP was first detected in California in 2008 and exists in Ventura, San Diego, Imperial, Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties.
If Californians believe they have seen evidence of Huanglongbing in local citrus trees, please call the CDFA toll-free pest hotline at 1-800-491-1899.
For more information on the ACP and Huanglongbing, visit http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/acp/.