Citrus industry works to contain HLB

10/30/2012 03:01:00 PM
Tom Burfield

So far, the disease has not shown up in Arizona, Spencer said.

“But we’re concerned about it — it’s all around us, in Texas, Mexico and now California.”

As in California and other states where the psyllids have been detected, growers must be vigilant, he said.

“What the growers can do, once they do find (psyllids), is try and cooperate to eliminate or minimize them,” Spencer said.

Growers in central California are monitoring their fields and hoping HLB doesn’t get established in the valley, said Fred Berry, director of marketing for Mulholland Citrus, Orange Cove, Calif.

“We want to keep it from getting a foothold in the first place,” he said.

The issue is an industrywide problem, said Neil Galone, vice president of sales and marketing for Booth Ranches LLC in Orange Cove, Calif.

“There’s more that the industry can do than the individual growers.”

“It is a great concern,” said Randy Jacobson, sales manager for Cecelia Packing Corp. in Orange Cove.

“Efforts are being put forth to fight this thing at the state, county and local level.”

The citrus industry can be counted on to work together and meet the crisis head-on, he said.

“It’s not going to get established here without a fight.”


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