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Cooperative Extension, California Citrus Research Board joint seminars for citrus growers

The Issue

California is the largest producer of fresh market citrus in the United States. Growers currently face many challenges, including Huanglongbing (HLB), a bacterial disease spread by the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). Prevention and treatment efforts are focused on ACP since there is no known cure for HLB, which has already decimated 50% of citrus crops in Florida. Furthermore, growers need to be aware of and fully understand California’s new and constantly changing laws and regulations so they can ensure that they are in compliance. California’s multi-year drought has also prompted growers to re-evaluate management strategies.

What Has ANR Done?

Every year, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) partners with the Citrus Research Board to hold seminars, free of charge, for California citrus growers. This year, 355 growers attended the educational seminars, which took place in the state’s main citrus growing areas of Tulare, Ventura and Riverside counties. Speakers from across the state and from various agencies shared their knowledge and expertise with participants. They provided updates on biological control of ACP and two wasp parasatoids (Tamarixia and Diaphorencyrtys), current ACP management areas, future options for ant control, and food safety and agricultural practices. Regulators presented information on new pesticide regulations and updates on a multi-year study on the insecticide chlorpyrifos. One presenter told about how to interpret soil, water, and leaf analyses and how to manage water in a drought. A question-and-answer session with attendees provided a feedback opportunity for grower views on approaches to ACP/HLB control.

The Payoff

Latest science and regulatory information helps California citrus face new disease threat

The seminars provided an opportunity for growers to stay current on science-based practices, research findings and new regulations for citrus, a crop valued at $3.7 billion in the U.S. and $1.5 billion in California. Grower participants also provided input on approaches to ACP control for inclusion in a management plan for ACP treatment and prevention now being developed by UCCE Specialist Neil McRoberts. The seminars have the potential to increase the effectiveness of state efforts toward sustaining California citrus through HLB, the drought and other threats.

Clientele Testimonial

“There are several reasons I attend grower seminars which are sponsored by the University of California. It is an opportunity to listen to the scientific views of the professionals working on important industry problems. Dr. Mark Hoddle’s work concerning biological control and the Asian Citrus Psyllid is always interesting and informative because he lets people know what he’s working on at the forefront of the fight against the deadly disease, Huanglongbing.”– Arlene Pinkerton, small citrus grower


Sonia Rios, Subtropical Horticulture Farm Advisor UCCE Riverside/San Diego Counties (951) 683-6491, sirios@ucanr.edu
Ben Faber, Subtropical Horticulture Farm Advisor UCCE Ventura/Santa Barbra Counties (805) 645-1462, bafaber@ucanr.edu