sweet orange scab

Procedures Revised for Sweet Orange Scab in California

Daniel CooperCalifornia Corner, Diseases, Regulation

The conditions for the interstate movement of citrus nursery stock and packinghouse procedures for citrus fruit from sweet orange scab (SOS) quarantined areas in California were recently revised. The actions were taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS).

The actions update the “APHIS-Approved Packing House Procedures for Elsinoë australis, Causal Agent of Sweet Orange Scab (SOS)” that is maintained on the APHIS sweet orange scab webpage.

sweet orange scab
Sweet orange scab

Regarding citrus nursery stock, USDA APHIS is removing two conditions: that the structure of the facility containing the citrus nursery stock must have a solid roof/barrier and that the nursery stock must not be exposed to overhead irrigation. This change will align with the requirements outlined in the Citrus Nursery Stock Protocol. Accordingly, this change modifies the requirement for an SOS program-approved structure to an APHIS-approved structure.

Regarding packinghouse procedures, USDA APHIS is removing the requirement that regulated fruit must be treated with imazalil and/or thiabendazole at the time of packing to move fruit interstate outside an SOS quarantined area. Instead, USDA APHIS now requires that regulated fruit must be treated with an EPA-approved post-harvest fungicide labeled for use in citrus at the time of packing. This amendment provides producers with access to additional fungicide options while sufficiently mitigating the risk of disseminating SOS to areas outside the quarantined areas through the movement of fruit.

USDA APHIS also recently expanded the California SOS quarantine area. A description of all current SOS quarantined areas, federal orders and other supporting regulatory documents may be found on the APHIS sweet orange scab webpage.

Additional information may be obtained from USDA APHIS National Policy Manager Abby Stilwell by email at abby.r.stilwell@usda.gov or by phone at 919-323-6296.


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