Coordinated HLB Treatment Critical in California

Josh McGill HLB Management

In an open letter to California citrus growers, Jim Gorden, chair of the Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Committee, emphasized the importance of cooperation of all growers to keep huanglongbing (HLB) at bay. Growers need to work together to coordinate treatments for maximum effectiveness.

“As the threat of HLB continues, industry members know that the best way to prevent HLB from infecting our groves is to limit populations of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), which spread the deadly disease,” said Gorden. “This winter, it’s critically important for California’s citrus-growing operations to actively participate in local, areawide or coordinated treatments to further boost our industry’s efforts in the fight against the ACP.

HLB Treatment

“Over the past year, ACP detections have been spiking throughout areas of the state where it has not been declared well-established, including parts of the Central Valley and Central Coast. While treatment strategies are different in various regions of the state, participation in areawide or coordinated treatments is crucial in suppressing ACP populations. When we work together by timing treatment applications, we can leverage the strongest counterpunch possible by limiting the areas where psyllids find safe harbor to avoid these treatments. In the process, we can protect not only our own groves, but those of our neighbors.”

He adds that “The cost to manage ACP populations is far less than what the potential costs should HLB spread into our commercial groves. One only has to turn their eyes to Florida for a crystal ball’s view into our future should we not take action. While we have successfully prevented HLB detections in California’s commercial citrus groves thus far, I encourage growers to invest in this ‘insurance policy’ to provide the best continued protection we have against this formidable opponent. Our industry continues to make strides in the fight against HLB and the ACP, but we’re stronger when we work as a collective.”

Gorden advises producers to connect with their local grower liaison or pest control district. Visit the Citrus Insider website for details on area treatments; preferred timing of treatments will vary by region.

For additional information of ACP treatments and effective materials, see the University of California’s Integrated Pest Management Guidelines for ACP here.

If you suspect ACP or HLB in your grove, notify the California Department of Food and Agriculture Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.

Source: Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program

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