Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), California and Texas citrus growers can apply for the use of detection dogs to survey their groves for Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). The ACP-hunting canine scouts are highly trained and have shown to be more than 90% accurate when tested in various environments. The information obtained from the scouting can help growers develop a more focused mitigation approach. For a limited time, scouting services will be available for free to industry members.
“Thanks to the taxpayers’ federal dollar, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has funded us for a year. So, until April 1, 2022, any grower or government agency can request our services, and they don’t have to pay a thing,” said Lisa Finke, chief executive officer of Canine Detection Services. “Right now, USDA has given me permission to provide services in Texas and California. So, we can go anywhere in those states that we’re invited.”
Canine ACP scouting can be deployed in a variety of environments. Services can be effective in areas where ACP has yet to be found, as well as areas of high infestation. If a dog detects the presence of ACP odor, a radius of 22 feet will be investigated around where the dog has alerted. When ACP is found, the life stage and number of insects are documented. That information is compiled into a report which is presented to the grower or agency that has requested the service.
“A grower will get a ranch overview, which is a picture of all of his blocks with little pin drops where we did find live ACP. Then he’ll also get a block report which shows, for each block, where the ACP are that we found and their life stages and pictures in some cases,” Finke noted. “The reports are confidential; they only go to the grower. We are not required to report what we find to anybody else.”
For more information, contact Lisa Finke of Canine Detection Services at 559-480-5713.
Source: AgNet West
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