Looming Challenge for Citrus Industry
Another right hook to the citrus industry. Earlier this year, citrus yellow vein clearing virus was detected in a residential tree in Tulare, a town of nearly 70,000 tucked between Fresno and Bakersfield, California,
It’s the first time the virus, which can severely affect tree growth and fruit yield, has shown up in the United States.
Our network’s Patrick Cavanaugh caught up with Victoria Hornbaker, the Director of the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Division of the California Department of Agriculture. She explained that although an ongoing delimination survey has found over 500 positive trees in the city of Tulare, it is currently an issue at the residential level…
“We have done some grove sampling in Fresno, Tulare, and King and we have not found any symptoms or positive plants in a commercial grove at this point.”
But this thing can spread. According to a pest alert put out by the Florida Department of Agriculture, this virus had previously been restricted to Pakistan, India, Iran, Turkey and China where it has rapidly expanded to all citrus-producing provinces.
How did it end up in California? What are the possible treatments and protocol? What are the symptoms and how does it spread. And how big of an issue could this be for California’s citrus industry and that of the entire United States.
Over the course of the next several days, we’ll continue our discussion with Victoria Hornbaker to get those answers.