California, Arizona growers remain vigilant on citrus pest - The Packer

California, Arizona growers remain vigilant on citrus pest

10/21/2011 03:38:00 PM
Dan Gailbraith

“If they don’t find any more, the quarantine will be lifted in 2012,” he said.

He is concerned that HLB has been detected in Mexico not far south of Arizona, and he also is bothered by fact that the psyllid continues to show up in his neighboring state.

“It makes me nervous that they haven’t been able to eradicate it in California,” he said.

Wollenman is pleased with the way the threat has been handled.

The state of California, its Department of Food and Agriculture and the Citrus Research Board “are doing excellent jobs in controlling the psyllid and trying to locate it,” he said.

He believes California growers have some advantages over Florida growers.

“We have more tools at our disposal than what Florida had when the psyllid was found 10 years ago,” he said.

He also believes the state’s climate might be more conducive to controlling the psyllids.

The geography of the region also may help prevent a psyllid infestation, Johnston said.

“We’re hopeful that the Tehachapi Mountains are an effective barrier to keep it out,” he said.

Still, Wollenman remains concerned.

“This is probably the biggest challenge we’ve ever faced here,” he said.

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