Meetings highlight new area-wide psyllid treatment strategies

07/15/2014 05:56:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

Vicky BoydYellow stick traps help monitor for the presence of Asian citrus psyllid in California citrus groves.California citrus growers can learn more about the new area-wide citrus psyllid treatment strategies at three meetings scheduled for next week.

The program is based on similar ones already being used successfully by citrus growers in Texas and Florida.

The coordinated voluntary effort recommends that all growers treat at the same time to maximize an insecticide's effectiveness against the Asian citrus psyllid, which spreads citrus greening.

If growers were to treat individual groves, the psyllid tends to migrate to untreated areas to seek refuge. But if growers work collectively and treat a wide expanse at the same time, the psyllid has nowhere to hide.

Citrus greening has yet to be found in the San Joaquin Valley, but the Asian citrus psyllid, which spreads the disease, has been found in several locations.

Although citrus greening is deadly to citrus trees, the bacterial disease is harmless to humans or other animals.

In Florida, where citrus greening is endemic, it has caused more than $4.6 billion in losses.

The California program was developed with input from the University of California, California Citrus Mutual and the California Citrus Research Board, according to a news release.

Industry leaders have divided Tulare County into "psyllid management areas," which are similar to the citrus health management areas, or CHMAs, in Florida.

In these smaller divisions, neighbors can easily work together to time their treatments.

Informational and organizational meetings will be held July 22 and 24 at the Veterans' Memorial Building in Exeter. On Aug. 7, a meeting will be held at the Kearney Agricultultural Center near Parlier.

For more information, including registration links, visit CitrusInsider.org



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