Assisting Citrus Greening & Pesticide Program Expands
Even though the northwest is not a home for citrus production, Washington State University researchers have received a $2.1 million grant to help save the U.S. and global citrus industry. They will develop methods of growing a citrus-destroying bacteria so that strategies to fight the disease it causes can be pursued. "Citrus greening disease," is destroying orange, grapefruit and lemon trees around the world. WSU was selected in part because citrus isn't grown in Washington, so there is no chance of accidentally infecting a crop.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture finds itself in a much stronger position to address issues and concerns from the public while also working proactively with pesticide applicators to prevent problems in the first place. It all comes courtesy of the 2015 State Legislature, which provided additional resources to the agency. Dale Mitchell is manager of ODA's Pesticides Program.
MITCHELL: Four new investigative positions as well as a new case reviewer, a citizen advocate for the Pesticide Analytical Response Center as well as providing resources for the agency to create a 2-1-1 hotline. On complaint driven inquiries, it will provide for a quicker response to the complaint. We'll have a greater presence out in the field looking for opportunities to educate and to bring parties into compliance.
That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.