This year’s Post-Harvest Pest Control Conference had record attendance in Oxnard, as industry members gathered to hear updates on the recent developments in post-harvest disease control. The annual event is hosted by the Citrus Research Board (CRB) and provides highly technical information to industry personnel and service company representatives.
“This meeting has been going on for 39 years,” said Director of Communications for the CRB Carolina Evangelo, “we have individuals from packing houses, and from all segments of the post-harvest industry that attend. We have almost 85 people here this year, so very good attendance and great speakers.”
Several of the speakers focused on some of the strategies and research surrounding Asian citrus psyllid and Huanglongbing. President of California Citrus Quality Council Jim Cranney provided information on some of the most recent council activity and Director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation Brian Leahy also addressed attendees on the nature of some of the department’s work.
The event also provided updates on “post-harvest trade issues, post-harvest fungicides, which is a very important part of post-harvest handling of citrus since we have to deal with penicillium blue and green mold in the post-harvest environment,” said Mary Lu Arpaia, a Subtropical Horticulturist for UC Cooperative Extension, who served as the moderator for the two-day conference.
The speakers and topics are largely generated from the particular areas of interest expressed by the industry. “We have a large session this year revolving around food safety. This is mainly because attendants from previous years have asked for food safety,” Arpaia noted.
The record attendance at the conference further confirms how supportive the industry is of the CRB’s efforts. “Last year was our referendum year and we had 79 percent of all the eligible voters submit ballots and their support was nearly unanimous with 98.86 percent, representing 99.64 percent the state’s citrus volume,” said Chief Research Scientist for CRB Dr. Melinda Klein. “We appreciate industry support, we’re here to help the industry.”