The California Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program has produced an educational video about harvest best management practices to limit the spread of Asian citrus psyllid.
Kevin Severns, general manager of Orange Cove-Sanger Citrus Association and chairman of California Citrus Mutual, narrates the 3-minute video.
In it, he discusses the need to remove all stems, leaves and other plant material from picking bags, bins, forklifts, trucks, trailers and harvesting equipment before they leave a grove.
And no locale is off limits. Severns even recommends checking portable toilets at the end of the work day to ensure workers haven’t tracked in leaf or plant material.
Being fastidious about field sanitation helps reduce the chances that Asian citrus psyllid may hitchhike on plant material from one grove to another, Severns said in the video.
The concern over the Asian citrus psyllid stems from its feeding on citrus trees, weakening them, and its ability to spread the bacterial disease, citrus greening or huanglongbing.
The disease, which is harmless to humans, has only been found in one citrus tree in California.
But in Florida, where greening is endemic, greening has caused more than $3 billion in damage to the state’s citrus industry, according to University of Florida figures.