The following information was reported yesterday from CDFA’s Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program:
A Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas)-positive Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) sample had been collected from a residential property in Ventura County in the Santa Paula area and was confirmed by the Citrus Research Board’s Jerry Dimitman Laboratory.
The positive sample – comprised of 12 adult psyllids from a residential citrus tree in the Southwest area of Santa Paula – was collected on Sept. 6 as part of the Multi-Pest Risk Survey and confirmed positive for CLas on Sept. 19. This is the first confirmed CLas-positive ACP found in Ventura County.
An HLB quarantine zone will not be established as a result of this CLas-positive ACP detection and California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) staff are swiftly conducting surveys and collecting samples from the property and all HLB host plants that are located within a 250-meter radius around the find, per the ACP/HLB Action Plan.
While the first confirmation of a CLas-positive ACP in Ventura County is concerning, as of today, HLB has not been detected in any Ventura County citrus trees. However, it is more crucial than ever that populations of the ACP continue to be controlled properly in order to stop the disease from spreading, as oftentimes a CLas-positive ACP precedes the detection of an HLB-positive tree. Additionally, there were no nymphs observed at the time of collection on Sept. 6., however, during resampling efforts this week, CDFA collected 15 nymphs from the find site property but on a different host plant. CDFA crews will be surveying for any additional adult or nymph psyllids as part of the 250-meter survey being conducted this week.
This CLas-positive ACP detection is not associated with the research that was conducted last year in Southern California – including Ventura County – as a part of a program funded by the HLB Multi Agency Coordination Group by researchers from UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, UC Davis, UC Riverside and the University of Arizona, Tucson. These studies’ laboratory tests vary from the federally approved testing methods and procedures required by CDFA labs that would allow the state to take any regulatory action. Therefore, this is the first CLas-positive ACP detection recognized by CDFA.
While treatment is not mandatory for area commercial growers as a result of the detection, Ventura County commercial growers who wish to take proactive steps to protecting their groves or who have additional questions can contact Ventura County Grower Liaisons Sandra Zwaal or Cressida Silvers.
CCM will continue to keep members updated on the on the status of the situation as more information becomes available from CDFA’s Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program.
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