Psyllid Quarantines Affecting Bottom Line

Taylor Hillman Citrus, Pest Update

psyllid quarantines
Moving citrus through the state is now more costly due to Asian citrus psyllid quarantines and the threat of huanglongbing (HLB) disease and some growers see it more than others.

Quarantines Affecting Bottom Line

Asian citrus Psyllids continue to spread north up the state as Central Valley counties are reporting an increase in findings, often times just off of Highway 99. “It’s just a matter of getting that leaf trash off the fruit however that happens,” Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner Marylin Kinoshita says. “Even with the spray-and-move option they shouldn’t be moving leaf trash around the state.”

Kinoshita says there is an extra cost to get fruit cleared for shipment and southern California growers who send their crop out of county for packing see that cost doubled. She says there is a the less expensive spray-and-move option for growers but there can be problems with that method as well. “You can get resistance to the same pesticide being used all the time and we are seeing some of that,” Kinoshita says. “Also the treatment does cost some money and if you don’t get all of the fruit packed in that seven day period you have to treat again.”

Kinosita says the pest and disease is definitely having an impact on the bottom line. “Certainly the psyllid and the threat of HLB is adding expense to the process of us having fresh citrus,” Kinoshita says. “However it’s a necessary evil just to keep the industry, and your backyard tree, safe.”