Citrus Black Spot Update

Ernie Neffblack spot, Diseases

citrus black spot
Callie Walker

Callie Walker with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) recently gave an update on the citrus black spot quarantine in Southwest Florida. Walker is bureau chief of pest eradication and control for FDACS’ Division of Plant Industry and serves as statewide director for the Citrus Health Response Program. She summarizes the presentation she made at the Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute in Avon Park last month.

“This year we have had two major expansions” in the quarantine area for the disease, Walker says. “One was in Charlotte County. The other was the first time we’ve ever had residential citrus black spot found on a tangerine variety in Lee County.”

She says those expansions added “significant acreage” to the quarantine area. The major quarantine areas are in Collier, Hendry and Lee counties. There is also a very small regulated area in Polk County, along with one citrus black spot find in Charlotte County.

Citrus black spot, a fungal disease, was first found in Florida groves in March 2010. Hurricane Irma may have raised the threat of black spot in Florida.

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Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large