Federal and Alabama agriculture authorities recently established a citrus canker quarantine for all of Baldwin County, Alabama, to prevent the spread of the disease. The quarantine was established on July 25 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI).
On June 22, 2021, APHIS confirmed the positive identification of citrus canker from two citrus trees located on a residential property in Baldwin County. By Nov. 4, 2021, ADAI detected citrus canker in a total of 12 citrus trees within residential and commercial citrus. On Feb. 9, 2022, ADAI established an intrastate citrus canker quarantine that parallels federal citrus canker regulatory requirements.
Under the current citrus canker quarantine regulations, the interstate movement of citrus plants and plant parts, other than commercially packed and disinfected citrus fruit, remains prohibited. Citrus nursery stock that is moved in accordance with regulations may move from areas quarantined for citrus canker.
The establishment of this quarantine area is reflected on this APHIS website, which also contains a description of all current federal citrus canker quarantine areas.
Citrus canker is a disease caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri. It enters leaves through stomata, or through wounds caused by weather damage or insects, such as the citrus leafminer. Young leaves are the most susceptible. Symptoms generally appear within 14 days of exposure to the canker bacteria.
The disease affects the vitality of citrus trees, causing leaves and fruit to drop prematurely. Fruit infected with canker is safe to eat but has reduced marketability.
Additional information regarding the citrus canker program may be obtained from Shailaja Rabindran, APHIS director of specialty crops and cotton pests, at 301-851-2167.
Source: USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
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