Meetings scheduled on citrus psyllid quarantine next week
The Tulare County Agricultural Commissioners office, along with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), have scheduled several meetings next week to discuss the impending quarantine of citrus.
State officials have said the quarantine, which will be imposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, should be announced some time next week. The quarantine is in response to the discovery of an Asian citrus psyllid in a commercial grove northeast of Strathmore. That psyllid was found in a trap picked up in October, but the discovery was not announced until last Friday.
The discovery of the psyllid that carries the citrus tree killing disease Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening, is the second in the county. A psyllid was found in a trap in December of 2011.
State officials say they are treating the two discoveries as related and, are imposing the quarantine to avoid taking any chances with the health of the citrus industry. The quarantine will restrict the movement of all citrus products, fruit and trees, but the big threat is the foliage, the only part of the plant that can carry HLB. Packers will be able to ship packed fruit, and a psyllid infestation would not affect the fruit’s quality or edibility.
The meetings next week are for growers, packers, haulers and labor contractors.
Meetings are also being planned for commercial growers of citrus trees, as well as retailers who sell them. A separate meeting is planned for private property owners, as officials want to begin treating the area around where the psyllid was found to eradicate the pest.
The first meetings will be Wednesday at the Tulare County Agricultural Building Auditorium, 4437 S. Laspina St. in Tulare.
The morning session that day is for those of north of Highway 137. The afternoon session is for those south of the highway.
The morning session will run 9 a.m. to noon and the second session from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.