Guidance for Growers Experiencing Increased Thrips Damage

California Citrus Mutual’s Pest and Disease Taskforce held a special meeting on June 16th to discuss the record thrips population encountered this year across the citrus industry. Growers and PCA’s shared their challenges, strategies that worked, and mostly those that didn’t work considering the large population, significant rainfall, and timing with bloom. Most agreed that there would be extensive scarring, but that it was too early to estimate the amount of damage across the industry.

Several recommendations and action steps came out of the meeting:

  1. Communicate with your PCA – Every situation is site specific. Multiple control strategies were discussed with varying effectiveness. Information sharing will help the industry identify best courses of action in future years.
  2. Reach out to your crop insurance agent – The group agreed that the thrips situation this year was directly tied to weather conditions. Insurance coverage may be available depending on the damages occurred. Understanding your damages and your coverages will be important as you work through the rest of the season.
  3. Communicate with your packinghouse – your packinghouse needs as accurate of an assessment as possible to help manage the crop and maximize grower returns. Decisions about what to put in a box will affect your overall return as well as eligibility for any potential insurance coverage.

The CCM Pest and Disease Taskforce will continue to monitor the situation with additional meetings as the crop progresses, to consider avenues that can be taken to expedite approval of new products, and further investigate insurance and potential disaster relief programs available to growers.

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