The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded California $5.8 million to help fight ths spread of Asian citrus psyllid, which can carry citrus greening.
"USDA’s support has been instrumental from the start, and citrus growers have also played an active part in getting the word out and getting this project up and running quickly," California Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura said in a news release.
"This funding will strengthen and accelerate the work we have already begun."
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is working cooperatively with the California Department of Food and
Agriculture on an Asian citrus psyllid program.
The funds will be used for intensive surveillance for Asian citrus psyllid and citrus greening disease, also known as Huanglongbing or HLB. It also will support quarantine regulations, as well as outreach and education to California's nursery owners, the citrus industry and the public.
Citrus greening is deadling to citrus trees, causing reduced and poor quality fruit, tree decline and eventual tree death. It is harmless to humans. The disease is endemic in Florida's citrus-producing region.
Citrus greening also was found in one residential citrus tree in Orleans Parrish, La. The tree has since been destroyed. No other trees or psylla have tested positive for the disease.
APHIS confirmed California's first detection of Asian citrus psyllid in San Diego County on Sept. 2. The pest has since been
confirmed in Imperial County.
APHIS also is conducting a cooperative Asian citrus psyllid survey in Texas, where the pest has been found in 35 counties.
In addition, the pest has been found in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Louisiana.
APHIS also is working cooperatively with its counterpart in Mexico—la Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería,
Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación—to assist that agency with surveying and controlling the psyllid.