California Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) quarantines could soon be deregulated and move to a statewide quarantine. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is trying to change that possibility to a regional approach and keep citrus from being able to move freely throughout the state. Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner Marylin Kinoshita says some growers won’t be happy with that as the restrictions are costing them when to move their product.
“There are just a handful of packing facilities south of the grapevine and the majority of them are here in the Central Valley,” Kinoshita says. “So you could have a very large citrus operation in Ventura County that for the last 50 years has been packing here in Tulare County.”
Kinoshita says growers should look at the big picture and not jeopardize the rest of the industry. “The hope is that the citrus industry as a whole will do what’s best for their livelihood and develop options locally so there isn’t free movement from the southern part of the state and expose the main citrus growing regions with psyllids and HLB (huanglongbing),” Kinoshita says. “It’s not palatable to some people but in general, the idea is to stop free movement of psyllids because we’ve got an HLB disease problem in the Los Angeles area.”
The Central Valley has seen an increase of ACP on traps and Kinoshita says now is a critical time for the industry.