What is in this article?:
- Industry marshaling forces to combat citrus greening disease threat
- Hard to run PCR test
- Offers optimism
- Part will be done in Texas
- Edge effect
• The U.S. citrus industry is well aware that greening disease threatens more than 1 million commercial citrus acres with an annual production value of approximately $3 billion.
• Estimates show yearly losses could reach $10 billion if citrus greening is left unchecked.
Part will be done in Texas
When the field testing part of that project is implemented, part of that will be done in Texas. I’m sure the same is true for California. All the citrus-growing states are involved.
“We’ve tried to learn from Florida’s experience and began psyllid control before the disease was discovered. That may have provided us with a head start.”
How the psyllids are tested…
“USDA/APHIS has a team of around 30 people who have been doing survey work here for the last three years. The first couple of years, that work was done exclusively in dooryards.
“It’s interesting that in the states where greening has shown up, it’s tended to first be found in dooryards.
“About a year ago, the team began taking samples from commercial groves in Texas. Our first incident was in a commercial grove.
“Since then, out of tens of thousands of psyllids being tested, all were negative for the disease until the last few months.
“All seven of the recent finds were from dooryards. That leads me to believe the dooryards are going to be a major part of the narrative.
“In Florida, there are a lot of areas where there aren’t too many dooryards interfaced with their commercial citrus. That isn’t true all over the state, but in many parts of the state groves are kind of isolated from housing developments.
“Unfortunately, that isn’t the case in Texas.
“We can’t prove that Texas’ greening problem came from Mexico for sure. But, greening is such a huge issue in Mexico that we have to believe that will be an ongoing threat.