From Tulare County
Five Mile Quarantines To be Announced
Gavin Iacono, Deputy Ag Commissioner Tulare county,
overseeing Standards and Quarantines, notes that the state is waiting for the
USDA sign-off on a new plan that proposes five-mile quarantines around the two
blunder trap sites where six Asian Citrus Psyllids were found June 25-26.
The quarantines would overlap each other since the traps were
about two miles apart.
Iacono said this is a proposed change from earlier
quarantine protocols. “Originally all quarantines were county-wide, and the
USDA, with justification, shrunk it down to a 20-mile radius. Now the state is
proposing a five-mile radius, which is a big change of what it has been in the
past,” he said.
No fruit can move out of the quarantine areas unless it has
been treated and/or free of stems and leaves.
In the proposal, the state is going to require preharvest spray treatments
not only for the proposed quarantines in Porterville but for all active ACP
quarantine areas in the state.
There will also be an 800-meter eradication zone in place
around each site. “What this means is that all citrus within 800 meters around
the trap sites must be treated with control sprays,” Iacono said.
“Quarantines are automatically for two years. Within the two
years, if nothing is found, the quarantine will be lifted. But no ACP
quarantine in California has ever been lifted. We have been close, but then we
find something just before the quarantine can be lifted,” Iacono said.
“On June 17, 2013, the state lifted a restricted zone in the
Strathmore area following ACP trappings in mid-November 2012. And now, not a
month later, we trapped more ACP in the nearby Porterville area,” Iacono said.
Based on science, the new finds are suspected to be more
serious due to the possibility of a breeding population in the area. “But we
are not able to find it. This is why there are mandatory spray programs in
place,” said Iacono.
Officials are not sure why inspectors are finding the ACP in
commercial orchard areas in the Valley. “In southern California, they first
found the Psyllid in the urban area, and then it spread out from there into the
commercial areas. In the Valley we keep finding it in the commercial areas,”
“Intense inspections of traps in the City of Porterville, so
far, have found no Psyllids. In fact, inspectors surveyed more than 300
residential properties yesterday
did not find anything,” noted Iacono.
Inspectors are fanning through orchards with white beat
sheets that have been sprayed with soapy water. They beat branches three times
and observe anything that falls on the white sheet. Because the inspectors are
trained, they can quickly determine if a Psyllid has fallen on the sheet. The
water holds what falls in place on the sheet. After each inspection, the water
is wiped off and reapplied for the next inspection.
Many of these crews are coming up from Southern California
where they have been doing this extensively for the past five years.
Iacono said that nurseries are also going to be affected in
the quarantine area. “Unless it’s under a screened area, the nursery stock
cannot be moved out of the restricted area. There are several small nurseries
in the area, and one very large nursery that has part of its operation under
screens,” Iacono said. “And you also
have the nursery centers at the Home Depot and Lowes locations that will be
affected. The state will begin to put
Hold Notices on all citrus trees in nurseries that are not under screens.”
It’s important that everyone inspect his or her trees for
the ACP. If you find it, act fast. Time is critical.
The ACP Hotline number is (800) 491-1899.
Labels: Asian Citrus psyllid, Duputy Ag Commissioner, five mile radius, Gavin Iacono, nursery stock, Porterville, quarantine, Tulare County