EXETER, Calif. — “Once again Governor Brown indicates his support for the California citrus industry with the sustained financial commitment to the Asian Citrus Psyllid/Huanglongbing (ACP/HLB) battle being waged in California,” states CCM President Joel Nelsen. “The inclusion of $2.5 million dollars in this year’s budget follows last year’s significant commitment and augments the $15-$18 million put forth by Growers annually.”
HLB is a devastating disease that has reduced Florida’s production by 70% as the industry battles against all odds. “We have been lucky to date,” Nelsen continues, “as we were able to put a program together before the disease and the bug had a chance to gain a foothold in commercial groves. Unfortunately, the disease is spreading in the backyards of Los Angeles, Orange County, and locales South. Finding the disease before it finds the industry has always been the goal, and this budget allocation once again recognizes the scope of the fight.”
Over 200 trees in backyards have been found to have the disease. State policy requires they be removed so as not to become a reservoir for additional inspection. Analyzing tree material, trapping, and detection are major areas of expenditures. Additionally, the industry allocates over a million dollars a year in educational efforts which has created a strong partnership with homeowners as they assist in this endeavor. General fund financial support helps solidify that cooperation.
An industry advisory committee works hand in hand with California’s Department of Agriculture to successfully create a program that is being copied in other production areas.
–California Citrus Mutual
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