Citrus restrictions in Tulare County to expire

06/13/2013 03:21:00 PM
Andy Nelson

orangesRestrictions on citrus in California’s Tulare County, put in place in December after Asian citrus psyllids were found in the county, are set to be lifted June 17.

If no more psyllids are found before that date, the ban will be lifted, Bob Blakely, director of industry relations at Exeter-based California Citrus Mutual, said June 13.

After the initial finds last year, which led to the restrictions in two areas of Tulare County, no additional psyllids have been found, Blakely said.

“This is very good news,” Blakely said. “Growers can harvest again without employing mitigation steps.”

Those steps include removing stems and leaves from plants and pre-treating them before they can ship.

The restrictions stop short of being a full quarantine. Had another psyllid been found during the six-month restricted period, however, a two-year quarantine would have been established.

Under the restrictions, fruit can be shipped from Tulare County if mitigation measures are in place. Nursery stock cannot leave the restricted zones unless grown in pest-resistant structures.

The two restricted areas consist of 5-mile radiuses around sites in the Strathmore and Terra Bella areas where the psyllids were found.

Psyllids, which can carry citrus greening disease, were collected in traps in October and November. A third psyllid was trapped in December 2011.

Citrus greening disease, or HLB, has not been found in Tulare County. Psyllid findings are common in California, but only one case of HLB has been identified, in Hacienda Heights.



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