California Funding to Reduce Wildfire Threat

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

California citrus growers joined their fellow farmers and ranchers in suffering through the worst wildfire season in California history. Some groves were directly threatened by wildfire, and many were located in growing areas that were blanketed with smoke for weeks or months. Smoke exposure resulted in employee time loss due to respiratory illness, and an increase in asthma and allergy … Read More

Scouting Tips for Finding Asian Citrus Psyllids

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Psyllids

A presentation at the recent Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Committee State of the Central Valley meeting in California highlighted the importance of scouting for Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) in groves. Scouting becomes even more critical as the risk of ACP and HLB, the disease the insect transmits to trees, rises. The presenter, University of California (UC) Riverside Extension Specialist … Read More

Dams Needed to Deal With Drought

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Water

This year’s La Niña weather event is bringing up bad memories for California citrus growers. The industry suffered during the drought years of 2012 to 2016 and the specter of a repeated drought looms with every dry day. The California Natural Resources Agency addressed drought fears in a recent report prepared by Jeanine Jones, interstate resources manager for the California … Read More

Task Force Recommendations for ACP in Kern County

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

The San Joaquin Valley ACP/HLB Area-Wide Task Force strongly recommends citrus growers in Kern County, California, to add an Asian citrus psyllid (ACP)-effective material to their pre-bloom or spring foliar treatments. Since ACP build populations on the young leaf flush, the sooner growers spray, the better. Fortunately, this timing coincides with pre-bloom treatments for katydid, worms, thrips and other pests. … Read More

Tarping Proven to Reduce ACP Movement

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Psyllids

Researchers at the California Data Analysis and Tactical Operations Center (DATOC) have analyzed Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) trapping data along major transportation routes before and after tarping regulations for bulk citrus shipments were enacted. The purpose was to determine the effectiveness of the policy. DATOC is an independent group of scientists sponsored by the Citrus Research Board and the California … Read More

Citrus Showcase Speaker Predicts Trade War Ahead

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Trade

Geopolitcal expert Peter Zeihan was the keynote speaker for the recent California Citrus Mutual Showcase. The showcase was presented March 4 online. Zeihan said he believes North America will recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19 this year, but the rest of the world will not. That, along with other factors, leads him to predict a trade war is inevitable, … Read More

California Growers Needed for Thrips Study

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Pests

Researchers from the University of California’s Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center are asking for help from industry members as they investigate citrus thrips. Thrips are a serious headache for citrus growers. They cause issues in all varieties of citrus, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley. Additionally, the pest has been known to rapidly develop resistance to management materials. Growers … Read More

Fermented Food Waste for Fertilizing Citrus

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Nutrition, Research

Fermented food waste converted to liquid fertilizer and fed through drip irrigation can boost bacteria that increase crop growth, according to a new University of California Riverside (UCR) study. The treatment may also make plants more resistant to pathogens. “Beneficial microbes increased dramatically when we added fermented food waste to plant growing systems,” said UCR microbiologist Deborah Pagliaccia, who led … Read More

Ag Workers Among Those Most at Risk to COVID-19 Death

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, COVID-19, Research

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that food-service, agricultural and construction workers were among the most at-risk for dying from exposure to COVID-19. The study points out high-density workplaces in any industry are possibly high risk. The close proximity of employees in high-density workplaces creates a high risk for transmission of coronavirus disease. The … Read More

Wind Damages California Lemons

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Weather

Wind damage sustained last week in California is still being assessed by county agriculture commissioners in San Diego and Ventura counties. However, damage appears to be limited to lemons and avocados. The wind damage was the result of a series of storms that swept through Southern California last week. The region experienced strong winds with gusts of nearly 100 mile-per-hour … Read More

California Growers Reminded to Stay Alert

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

Jim Gorden, chair of the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee (CPDPC), is greatly concerned about the increase in sporadic Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) detections across California. Gorden sent an open letter to all citrus growers asking them to increase their vigilance against the pest and the risk of citrus greening, known as HLB disease. He said that “While the … Read More

HLB-Positive ACP Found in San Diego County

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Industry News Release, Psyllids

A citrus tree at a private residence near San Diego, California, has been found to be infected by four Asian citrus psyllids (ACP). Upon testing, the ACP were found to be carriers of the bacterium that causes citrus greening, also known as huanglongbing (HLB). The finding was announced by the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Citrus Pest and Disease … Read More

Breeding Hybrids With HLB Resistance

Len WilcoxBreeding, California Corner

UC Riverside scientists are working to breed new fruits that are naturally resistant to huanglongbing (HLB). The hybrid fruits will ideally share the best of their parents’ attributes: the tastiness of citrus and the HLB resistance displayed by some Australian relatives of citrus. HLB, also called citrus greening disease, has been detected in California, where 80 percent of the country’s … Read More

ACP/HLB Management Survey for California

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

Researchers from Sacramento State and the University of California, Riverside are requesting input from citrus industry members to help examine the economics of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and huanglongbing (HLB) management in California citrus groves. The research team is looking for growers, advisors and other citrus industry members in California to provide input on overall knowledge of ACP and HLB, … Read More

Root Bacteria Could Help Defeat HLB

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Industry News Release, Research

A team led by the University of California, Riverside (UCR) is looking at tiny underground microorganisms for a way to prevent a huge problem — huanglongbing (HLB), a disease with no cure that has decimated citrus orchards worldwide. “Often times, it is thought of as an above-ground disease of the fruits, leaves and stems,” said Caroline Roper, plant pathology professor … Read More

COVID-19 Emergency Standards for California

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, COVID-19, Regulation

The California Department of Industrial Relations adopted emergency temporary standards to protect workers from hazards related to COVID-19. Pending approval by the Office of Administrative Law, the temporary standards will be in effect immediately. The emergency standards will undergo a lengthy review process before becoming permanent California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) standards. The temporary standards apply to … Read More

Supreme Court to Hear Ag Union Case

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Legal

court

The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear a challenge to a California law that allows employee unions to trespass on private property. California law requires agriculture producers to open their property and businesses to union activists. Pacific Legal Foundation attorneys, who represent the companies filing the suit, claim that unauthorized union activities disrupt business operations and take property … Read More

Citrus Industry Wants Costa for House Ag Committee Chair

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Industry News Release, Legislative

California Citrus Mutual (CCM), Florida Citrus Mutual and Texas Citrus Mutual have voiced their support that California Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) be appointed as the new chair of the House Agriculture Committee. A CCM press release stated that Costa understands the industry’s issues, such as pest and disease, trade, water and immigration. Notably, Costa was instrumental in securing federal funding … Read More

Program to Protect California Ag Workers Expands Again

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, COVID-19, Labor

florida

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced that Yolo and Imperial counties are now included in the Housing for the Harvest program. This program provides temporary hotel housing for farm and food-processing employees to self-isolate if they have been exposed to COVID-19 and cannot properly self-isolate at home. Twelve counties are now participating in Housing for the Harvest: … Read More

Sudden ACP Increase in California Worrisome

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Psyllids

To the surprise and consternation of growers and officials, 74 Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) have been discovered in Kern County, California, since June. Local and state officials are concerned about the recent uptick in trappings and are working to find how extensively the infestation has spread. The trappings have been equally dispersed in residential and commercial citrus. Staff from the … Read More