Source: Alabama Cooperative Extension System

Satsuma mandarins are a growing commodity in Baldwin and Mobile counties. But because they are a member of the citrus family, satsumas are vulnerable to a devastating disease called citrus greening. The disease, which is widespread in Florida and found in several other states, is carried by a small insect, the Asian citrus psyllid.

A team of scientists and professionals from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Auburn University, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries and the USDA are working together to prevent both this insect pest and disease from taking hold in Alabama.

Dr. Henry Fadamiro, the Extension's state coordinator for integrated pest management, said there is presently no effective cure for citrus greening, which causes a decline in citrus trees and eventually kills the trees.

"The only way to prevent the disease is to control the insect that spreads it," said Fadamiro, who is an associate professor of entomology at Auburn University.

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