Regional Psyllid Quarantines Still a Possibility

Taylor Hillman Citrus, Pest Update

Psyllid Quarantines
California citrus programs are still looking to split the state into regions when it comes to Asian citrus psyllid quarantines.

The Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program (CPDPP), operated by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, still aims to change Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) quarantines on a state level. “We are looking at going to a statewide quarantine where we break the state into areas,” CPDPP committee chairman and grower Nick Hill said. “Growers and packers can have free movement in those areas, but when they go outside of those areas, let’s say from the desert to the valley, they’re gonna have to do mitigation to the fruit to make sure ACP aren’t being moved from one location to the next.”

Hill said if these changes do happen, they will also increase enforcement of the rules. “They’re (growers and packers)¬†gonna have to prove with proper documentation that they have done those mitigation factors,” Hill said. “We are going to upgrade our enforcement at the packinghouses on those steps. We are also going to make sure that bins are cleaned properly at packinghouses and some of the other stuff like stem and leaf movement is curtailed.”

The CPDPP has also started a series of trainings for field crews that remind workers to keep vehicle windows and doors shut in the groves and to clean bags at the beginning and the end of the day, among other steps. Hill said the goal is to catch that leaf trash that is being accidentally transported. “These are little steps, but they’re big steps because we have learned through research that ACP are being moved around by human beings either on trucks, equipment or people,” Hill said. “We need to curtail this by taking these steps and doing the little things.”