Louisiana citrus growers battle two diseases

07/10/2014 10:01:00 AM
Vicky Boyd

click image to zoomLSU Extension agentsCourtesy Louisiana State UniversityDuring a recent training sessions, Louisiana State University Extension agents learned first-hand the symptoms of citrus greening and citrus canker.Citrus growers in Louisiana are facing two nemeses: citrus greening and citrus canker.

Citrus canker was recently found in St. Bernard Parish, according to a news release. It already had been confirmed in four other southeastern Louisiana parishes, including Plaquemines, the state's largest citrus producing parish.

And officials expect it to continue to spread, since the state has the conducive warm, humid weather.

Canker was first detected in Louisiana in 1914 but was eradicated in 1940. It was detected again in June 2013.

Citrus greening was confirmed in the New Orleans area in March.

As a result, Raj Singh, director of Louisiana State University's AgCenter Plant Diagnostic Center, conducted training sessions for 15 Extension agents from southern Louisiana in May and June in New Orleans. The agents got to see first-hand trees infected with citrus canker and greening.

“The symptoms produced by citrus greening are somewhat similar to nutritional deficiencies and can easily be misdiagnosed,” Singh said in the release. “Citrus greening is confirmed by molecular analysis, but if the agents are familiar with the type of the symptoms, they can easily screen them for their constituents.”



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