California agriculture officials are scrambling after the most deadly disease to citrus has been discovered in California, the last major citrus-growing region in the world to avoid the dreaded disease, according to reports from the LATimes.com. The state’s first documented case of huanglongbing was discovered two weeks ago. Investigators suspect that a graft of pomelo was the likely source.
The pomelo, a symbol of good fortune and prosperity in many Asian cultures, was passed freely among San Gabriel Valley church friends, according to residents. Officials has long warned of a smuggled citrus tree would carry the disease into the state.
The disease has decimated citrus groves in China, Brazil and Florida and has no known cure. The disease is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid, which first arrived in California in 2008. Ag officials knew once the psyllid arrived in the state that it was only a matter of time before the disease showed up. In the meantime, officials aim to slow the spread of the disease and save the state’s $2 billion industry in the Central Valley.
California has a plan to isolate huanglongbing that includes mandatory removal and destruction of infected citrus trees and mandatory spraying of insecticides in areas 400 to 800 meters around the infected trees.
Read more from The Packer here.
Read more from the LA Times here.