Updated Regulations on Bulk Citrus Movement into the HLB Quarantine Area
Effective April 13, 2020, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will revoke Quarantine Commodity (QC) permit number 1486. QC 1486 originally authorized the intrastate movement of bulk citrus fruit from the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) Bulk Citrus Regional Quarantine Zones 2, 3, 4, 5 or 7, into the Huanglongbing (HLB) quarantine area, without meeting the ACP-free performance standard.
The motion to revoke QC 1486 was unanimously passed by the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee (CPDPC) at a committee meeting on March 11, 2020. CDFA subsequently approved the motion and will begin its implementation this month.
“While the committee understands this revocation represents a change for a limited number of our industry partners, we have made this science-based decision because we believe the overall benefit these actions will have in protecting the industry against the spread of ACP and HLB will outweigh the added mitigation steps required of our growers and packers,” said Jim Gorden, chairman of the Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program.
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Upon the effective date, all shipments of bulk citrus fruit into the HLB quarantine area, Bulk Citrus Regional Quarantine Zone 6, must meet the ACP-free performance standard, which includes field cleaning by machine or a preharvest treatment, and must be accompanied by the ACP-free declaration form. To download the ACP-free declaration form, please visit www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/pdfs/acp/ACPFreeDeclarationForm.pdf.
Prior to shipment, growers must also notify the appropriate county agricultural commissioner’s office to which they will be shipping bulk citrus, as stated in the grower’s compliance agreement.
“The committee based it’s response on the risk-based model, which indicated that movement of unmitigated fruit into the HLB quarantine presents a higher risk than we initially thought,” said Keith Watkins, chairman of the operations subcommittee of the CPDPP. “By potentially shipping psyllids into an area known to have HLB, we’re essentially throwing gasoline on the fire. These changes will not only create more uniform mitigation requirements, but allow us to future proof these regulations for any future HLB detections in new areas of the state.”
Steps like this are critical in the fight to save California’s citrus industry from ACP and HLB, which has been found in residential areas of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counites at an increasing rate. Now more than ever, it is important for the citrus industry to work together in preventing the spread of this harmful pest and disease.
To review the full document for citrus growers and grove managers in an ACP bulk citrus regional quarantine zone or HLB quarantine area, please click here.
For questions regarding this regulatory advisory, please contact Keith Okasaki at Keith.Okasaki@CDFA.ca.gov.