APHIS Shares Updated Protocol for Interstate Movement of Citrus Nursery Stock from Quarantined Areas

Based on consultation with stakeholders, APHIS revised the protocol for interstate movement of citrus nursery stock. This protocol, originally published in 2013, contains standards and requirements that a nursery must meet in order to move citrus nursery stock interstate from areas quarantined for citrus canker, citrus greening (huanglongbing, HLB), and/or Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). A nursery would need to meet the standards and requirements to obtain a certificate or limited permit for the interstate movement of citrus nursery stock from areas quarantined for citrus canker, citrus greening, or ACP.

The revised protocol will be effective March 12, 2018. All nurseries shipping from an HLB-quarantine area will be required to ship under the provisions of the previous protocol until mother and increase trees have been tested by APHIS. The Citrus Health Response Program (CHRP) will accept the last state test of the mother tree as long as the test meets APHIS requirements and occurred within the last 12 months.  Mother trees must be tested according to APHIS instructions and in an APHIS-approved lab within 12 months to maintain eligibility for shipment. Continue reading

Citrus greening confirmed in Alabama

In Southeast Farm Press

by Cary Blake

The feared citrus disease Huanglongbing (HLB) – a.k.a. citrus greening – has been confirmed in Alabama, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI).

HLB was found in leaf and insect samples from a residential property on Dauphin Island in Mobile County. Dauphin Island is a town located on a barrier island with the same name at the Gulf of Mexico. Continue reading

Researchers discover protein that aids in spreading citrus greening

In Southwest Farm Press

Since the introduction of Huánglóngbìng (HLB—yellow dragon disease—better known as citrus greening disease) onto U.S. soil in a Florida citrus grove in 2005, the disease has been a major threat to commercial citrus production across the country.

Before arriving in North America, HLB had already carved a path of destruction across the Far East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the Arabian Peninsula, and was discovered in July 2004 in Brazil. In its wake it left citrus growers around the world astounded at the inevitable and long-lasting risks the disease poses to the global citrus industry. Continue reading

USDA Invests $13.6 Million in Citrus Greening Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced four grants totaling more than $13.6 million to combat a scourge on the nation’s citrus industry, citrus greening disease, aka Huanglongbing. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“The economic impact of citrus greening disease is measured in the billions,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA investments in research are critical measures to help the citrus industry survive and thrive, and to encourage growers to replant with confidence.”  Continue reading

Florida citrus production is still down

In Southeast Farm Press

The USDA predicted Jan. 12 Florida will produce 71 million boxes of oranges for the 2016-2017 season, which is down more than 12 percent from the 81.5 million boxes harvested last season.

If the forecast holds true, it represents a decline of more than 70 percent since the peak of citrus production at 244 million boxes during the 1997-98 season. The drastic reduction in citrus production in Florida is largely due to the citrus greening disease, which continues to plague citrus trees and the citrus industry with no long-term solution in sight.

Read the entire story in Southeast Farm Press.

New sensor detects citrus greening before symptoms appear

In Growing Produce

by Paul Rusnak

Nearly two years ago, news arose that University of Florida researchers had developed a tool to help growers combat citrus greening: an electronic sensor. Today, a new study shows the time-lapse polarized imaging system may indeed detect greening before the plant’s leaves show symptoms.

For the study, Won Suk “Daniel” Lee and Alireza Pourreza were seeking to know how early citrus leaves with greening can be detected while they are pre-symptomatic. So they inoculated plants with the greening disease and put those leaves through a time-lapse imaging system.
There, they found starch in the leaves, an early sign of greening, said Pourreza, a former post-doctoral researcher in the UF/IFAS Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department. In their study, UF/IFAS researchers detected greening about one month after they infected the trees, he said. Continue reading

Citrus trees in “old flush” need to be watched for Asian citrus psyllid

In ARS News

by Dennis O’Brien, Agricultural Research Service

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist is providing citrus growers with much-needed guidance about the best times to use insecticides to control Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening.

HLB has cost Florida citrus growers an estimated $1.3 billion since 2005. The disease is caused by a bacterium spread by the Asian citrus psyllid, which feeds on leaves of infected trees and carries the disease from tree to tree. Insecticides are currently the best option for controlling HLB. Continue reading