Overwhelming positive response to California’s Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program (CPDPP) will keep the program running for another four years, bypassing the need for a referendum.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced the extension in response to a series of hearings held in June. “The feedback CDFA received from the industry was overwhelmingly supportive of this program,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said in a press release. “It has never been more important to protect California’s citrus farmers, which represent a $3 billion economic driver for our state and 20,000 jobs.”
CDFA said they did not receive a single negative comment or response about the program during the hearings or written submission period.
The extension approves both the CPDPP and the committee that governs it. The two were established in 2009 and are funded by industry assessments and both state and federal funds. The goal of the program is to advise efforts to limit the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and the deadly disease the bug carries called huanglongbing (HLB).
The first ACP was found in California in 2008, which led to the proactive formation of the CPDPP. The first HLB case in California was found in 2012, and there has been a total of 70 trees confirmed with the disease in California. All of the confirmed trees were located in residential areas of Southern California.
“This program has evolved as the threat of the Asian citrus psyllid and Huanglongbing has progressed in the state, which is one of the reasons we’ve been successful in keeping the disease out of commercial groves,” Nick Hill, chairman of the Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Committee said in a release. “Having learned from our partners in Florida, outreach has occurred throughout the state and to urban areas, treatment coordinators have been engaged to make sure growers are working together for maximum effectiveness against the pest, and scientific research has been supported.”
To learn more about the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program, Asian citrus psyllids and huanglongbing disease you can find the CPDPP online at CitrusInsider.org.