The San Joaquin Valley ACP/HLB Area-Wide Task Force strongly recommends citrus growers in Kern County, California, to add an Asian citrus psyllid (ACP)-effective material to their pre-bloom or spring foliar treatments. Since ACP build populations on the young leaf flush, the sooner growers spray, the better. Fortunately, this timing coincides with pre-bloom treatments for katydid, worms, thrips and other pests.
The task force has been tracking and analyzing all ACP detections to date in Kern County. The recommendations are based upon the data collected and were released in an open letter to citrus growers on the Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program website.
The letter also advises that if there is any open bloom in the orchard, state bloom regulations and pesticide label pollinator protections must be followed. Contact the Kern County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office for details at 661-868-6300.
Growers are advised to consider treating all citrus blocks in Kern County, especially those located east and south of Bakersfield. This includes non-bearing trees and blocks not normally treated at this time. See here for a list of ACP-effective insecticides from the University of California.
These recommendations came about due to a dramatic increase in the risk of an HLB disease outbreak, which could devastate the California citrus industry. Last fall and early this year, there has been a significant number (over 100) of ACP trap detections in Kern County. The detections occurred in residential properties as well as commercial citrus areas in Kern County, especially the City of Bakersfield and areas south and east of it.
Unfortunately, in addition to the trap detections, live breeding populations of ACP were discovered by California Department of Food and Agriculture survey crews in both residential and commercial citrus. Although these detection areas were treated, there is significant concern low level ACP populations may still exist undetected and left to build on the new spring flush. It is imperative to protect Kern County citrus from the devastating effects of HLB, particularly in light of the significant level of HLB-positive citrus trees found just south in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
Source: Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program