Citrus Pest and Disease Funding
The legislature’s budget signed by the Governor last month includes the continuation of funding for the Citrus Pest and Disease Division at the CDFA. For the second consecutive year, the $5 million is dedicated primarily to preventing the spread of the Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing, commonly referred to as HLB or Citrus Greening Disease.
Citrus Mutual is a voluntary non-profit trade association advocating for commercial citrus growers. President and CEO Casey Creamer says this critical funding will mainly go towards preserving the deep heritage of backyard citrus in Southern California, and keeping the pest from migrating to commercial citrus orchards.
Creamer… “That education outreach, sampling, testing, and removal of trees in the urban settings. That's where the large majority of the funding, not only the general funding, but a lot of money that still interest industry puts into the program goes to those issues in residential areas.”
The disease could be catastrophic to the California citrus industry. These types of education and outreach programs are critical to keep the Asian Citrus Psyllid, which is a vector for the disease from spreading.