Florida’s fresh citrus industry was recently reminded of federal requirements for movement of fruit from some disease quarantine areas to contiguous states and to the European Union (EU).
The reminders came from Paul Mears with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) during Citrus Packinghouse Day. Mears is the Florida Citrus Health Response Program (CHRP) coordinator. CHRP’s goals are to sustain the U.S. citrus industry, maintain grower access to export markets and safeguard citrus-producing areas against diseases and pests.
Mears said citrus from Florida is permitted to be harvested and shipped between contiguous states (Georgia and Alabama) for packing under the following conditions:
- The involved state departments of agriculture agree and affirm the action through a memorandum of understanding or similar agreement.
- The state will conduct preharvest surveys for sweet orange scab (SOS) and citrus canker (CC) in participating grove blocks and must be found negative for foliar and fruit symptoms.
- Entities involved in the harvest, transport and packing of regulated fruit must operate under a signed compliance agreement and its conditions. Debris, eliminations and culls must be disposed of as described in the compliance agreement.
Mears offered several general reminders to fresh fruit packers, including that packinghouses must operate under signed APHIS compliance agreements. Other reminders are:
- There is a statewide quarantine for CC and SOS, and a partial quarantine for citrus black spot (CBS).
- Preharvest inspection is necessary for EU-bound citrus originating in the CBS quarantine. The EU-recognized CBS quarantine includes Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Polk counties.
- The entire state of Florida is in the EU-recognized CC quarantine area.
See Mears’ Citrus Packinghouse Day presentation here.
To get more details, view the APHIS document titled Florida Fresh Citrus Fruit Shipment Procedures. The information contained in this document refers to CC, SOS and CBS restrictions only.
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