Media Contacts: Steve Lyle, CDFA Public Affairs (916) 654-0462 or firstname.lastname@example.org,
SACRAMENTO, December 4, 2012 – Approximately 163-square miles in Tulare County will be restricted for the movement of citrus fruit and citrus plants following detections of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) in the Lindsay/Strathmore and Terra Bella areas. The restrictions will encompass two zones, each with a five-mile radius surrounding the find sites.
Because of variations with standard quarantine protocol for this pest, these restrictions, technically, are not considered a quarantine. This is an interim step, permitted under state law, to establish protection against spread of the pest while CDFA and the Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner’s office continue to evaluate whether the detections are evidence of an established ACP population, or non-breeding hitchhikers brought into the corridor along State Highway 65 from infested counties in Southern California. Additional information, including maps of the restricted areas, is available at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/PE/InteriorExclusion/acp_restrictedareas.html .
The restrictions prohibit the movement of nursery stock out of the zones unless it has been grown in approved pest-resistant structures. Citrus fruit may move outside the zones if it has been commercially cleaned, which includes the removal of stems and leaves. Any fruit that is not commercially cleaned, including residential citrus, must not be removed from the property on which it is grown, although it may be processed and/or consumed on the premises.
The disease carried by the ACP, huanglongbing, or citrus greening, which is fatal to citrus, has not been detected in Tulare County and, to date, has been found at just one property in California – in Hacienda Heights, Los Angeles County. Huanglongbing is known to be present in Mexico and in parts of the southern U.S. Florida first detected the pest in 1998 and the disease in 2005, and the two have now been detected in all 30 citrus-producing counties in that state. The University of Florida estimates the disease has tallied more than 6,600 lost jobs, $1.3 billion in lost revenue to growers and $3.6 billion in lost economic activity. The disease is also present in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina. The states of Hawaii, Arizona, Mississippi and Alabama have detected the pest but not the disease.
The ACP was first detected in California in 2008 and is known to exist in Ventura, San Diego, Imperial, Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. If Californians believe they have seen evidence of huanglongbing in local citrus trees, they are asked to please call CDFA’s toll-free pest hotline at 1-800-491-1899. For more information on the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing, please visit: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/acp/