Citrus officials urge tree owners to leave their fruit at home this weekend News – Bakersfield, California

Matt Fischer, a citrus grower in Kern County, has asked people not to wrap their backyard citrus fruits as gifts for family and friends as they prepare to go out on Memorial Day weekend. I know how crazy it is

“I’ll do it myself,” he said.

But he also knows what it’s about (over $ 3 billion in annual sales). Because of this, he participates in California’s Citrus Fruit and Disease Prevention Program and urges citrus tree owners to keep homemade oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits near their homes. This weekend we’re going to get certain pests out of the way.

“If we don’t mind moving around the state, we can destroy California’s citrus (industry),” he said.

The concerns are centered on a mottled brown insect called Diaphorina citri that is about an inch long. And that alone brings with it an incurable disease called huanglongling that could wipe out the entire state’s citrus industry.

Huanglong Ridge was discovered in Southern California in 2012 after Florida’s citrus industry was destroyed. Pests have since been found in the Central Valley but no disease has been found.

A quarantine couple has been set up. One includes four counties in Southern California and the other four counties in the Central Valley, including Kahn. The idea is to keep charitable fruits grown in both areas separate from the other.

State officials are urging owners of citrus trees in the back yard to share fruit only with their neighbors. Or, if a homemade gift is imperative, we ask people to wash the fruit thoroughly and remove the leaves and stems from where the whales normally go.

“The easiest way is to keep the fruit and nurseries stationary,” said Victoria Horne Baker, director of pest and disease prevention, part of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Most importantly, don’t even think about bringing homemade citrus fruits to the Central Valley from southern California, she said. There is a risk of the disease entering the state’s major commercial forests.

“We just want people to be careful,” she said.

Horn Baker spoke about this a few years ago when a woman living in southern Orange County decided to move very clean potted citrus fruits to her new home in Placer County.

Sure enough, the tree carried Asiatic citrus whales, which in turn infected huanglongling. The woman soon realized that something was wrong with the tree. The leaves turned yellow with spots, the fruits were deformed and came out and did not ripen.

As soon as the authorities conducted an investigation, they looted trees with a view to destroying them and treating the entire area.

The good news is that treatments have been developed that can make trees disease resistant. However, it has not yet been completed or commercialized. The current hope is that the disease may be confined to Southern California until a cure occurs.

The state sector is urging citrus owners to immediately make arrangements for their next vacation, which is expected to see more than 37 million Americans (60 percent more than last year) leave the city. I decided.

Those who suspect they have seen Asian citrus pests or who believe they have seen Huanglongling’s symptoms are asked to call the CDFA Pest Hotline 800-491-1899. The agency also asked people who take care of citrus trees by watering, pruning, or otherwise looking for whales.

Fisher, who also grows citrus fruits further north of the valley, said nobody likes restrictions, but this is important to many.

“HLB (huanglongbing) is a very serious disease that has changed the way we think and see,” he said. “And we have to think differently.”

He said the industry would pay $ 15 million a year to fight the disease.

“We spend a lot of money to keep it out,” he said. “Now is not the time to be complacent.”

Citrus officials urge tree owners to leave their fruits at home this weekend News Source Link Citrus officials urge tree owners to leave their fruits at home this weekend News

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