August 29, 2009 |
Another discovery of a tiny disease-carrying insect disclosed by state agriculture officials today demonstrates that California's citrus industry is fighting a war on two fronts. TheCalifornia Department of Food and Agriculture said a detection dog working with inspectors on Wednesday found a package at a FedEx depot in Sacramento that contained at least 100 live Asian citrus psyllids, including juveniles and adults. Officials find that the insect is making its way into the state as a passenger on packages, even as colonies of the bug establish themselves in Southern California after flying north from Mexico.
December 22, 2008 |
By the time orange grower Gabriel Simoes noticed symptoms of the incurable "greening" disease last year, it was too late to do anything about it. Now four of every five trees in his 1,000-acre orchard are dead or dying. Industry officials say it's only a matter of time before California's $1.2-billion citrus industry is threatened by the "mother of all citrus diseases," which has invaded thousands of acres here in Brazil's citrus belt with sickening speed.
August 30, 2008 |
A tiny insect capable of carrying a disease that could devastate California's $1.2-billion citrus industry has been found in a lemon tree in San Diego, state agriculture officials said Friday. The identification of the bug as an Asian citrus psyllid in San Diego is preliminary, pending confirmation at a U.S. Department of Agriculture lab in Washington, officials said. The Asian citrus psyllid has become the primary carrier of citrus greening disease in Florida, where it has killed thousands of acres of orange groves, endangering that state's ranking as the largest U.S. producer of orange juice.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2002 |
Ventura County growers cheered a decision that continues a ban on the importation of Argentine citrus until new studies prove that the imports pose no risk to the domestic market. The U.S. Justice Department dropped its appeal last week of a court ruling suspending the importation program, clearing the way for a new round of studies.
January 10, 2001 |
Most people won't read James Saunt's "Citrus Varieties of the World--Second Edition" (Sinclair International, $60) at a sitting, but it's more than a reference work. If you like citrus, it's fun to browse through, and it's the book if you're wondering what those big freaky lemons on the tree in the yard might be (Ponderosa); what's the difference between Mexican and Key limes (none); or what a bergamot is (cross of sour orange and sweet lime, used in perfumes and tea).
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 11, 1998 |
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a four-month delay on action concerning the importation of Argentine citrus, signaling a victory for Ventura County lemon growers. The USDA imposed the delay to consider ways to ensure that imported fruit does not contain medflies or other citrus pests. "We must make sure that we protect the California citrus industry from the medfly, citrus cancer, black spots, sweet orange scab and other pests and diseases," Rep.
May 22, 1994 |
A microscopic Asian moth, the newest threat to Florida's citrus industry, is puzzling scientists and worrying growers. The citrus leafminer somehow hitchhiked into the Miami area almost a year ago and quickly established itself in much of Florida's 790,000-acre citrus belt. Officials believe it traveled to Florida from China, Thailand or Australia in a cargo shipment or in travelers' luggage. The insect derives its name from its habit of boring into leaves and then "mining" them for food.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 31, 2009 |
It's the stuff professional bug trappers dream of. As he peered at the first fly trap of the day, Ignacio Velazquez spotted his mottled foe, wriggling frantically under the magnifying lens. "I think I actually found one," said the 13-year veteran of the state's Department of Food and Agriculture, a hint of caution in his voice. "At this point, we'd call it a suspect." With 10,000 traps set statewide and about 200 trappers on the prowl, it was a needle-in-a-haystack discovery for Velazquez, an agriculture technician hunting for crop-destroying psyllids in the fruit-tree-lush neighborhood of Echo Park.
October 31, 2009 |
A tiny insect that threatens California's $1.6-billion citrus industry has been found near one of the state's commercial citrus growing regions. The Asian citrus psyllid, which has ravaged orchards in Florida as well as overseas, was found in Valley Center in rural San Diego County, the closest the bug has come to a major concentration of citrus groves. Northern San Diego County has about 2,500 acres of commercial citrus trees and is home to the largest concentration of organic citrus farmers in the nation, which will complicate efforts to control the insect, said Ted Batkin, president of the Citrus Research Board.
August 18, 2009 |
Leaders of California's $1.6-billion citrus industry said Monday that a disease that was killing orchards worldwide was now rooted in Mexico, and experts warned that it was headed toward the state. Citrus greening disease has infected six citrus trees on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, spread by an infestation of the Asian citrus psyllid. There's a virtual insect highway across the width of Mexico, and once the aphid-like insect hops on, California is in trouble, said Beth Grafton-Cardwell, a UC Riverside entomologist and director of the Lindcove Research and Extension Center, east of Visalia.