DPI Confirms Citrus “Greening” Find in St Johns County FL

Gary Cooper Citrus, Florida

Citrus Greening Found in St. Johns County…On September 12, a citrus greening sample taken from a Valencia orange tree was collected at a residence in St. Augustine by a county extension agent and submitted for analysis to the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services’ Division of Plant Industry. Laboratory testing confirmed the sample was positive on September 19. A portion of the sample was sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture lab for further analysis. This secondary confirmation by the USDA is conducted when the state confirms a greening find in a new county. The USDA sample results were also positive and were reported to the Department on September 24.
Citrus greening was first found in Miami-Dade County in August 2005 and has now spread to 27 Florida counties. The vector of the disease, the Asian citrus psyllid, was identified in Florida in 1998. Due to the widespread distribution of psyllids statewide, it was feared that it was only a matter of time before greening would be found in a growing number of additional counties.
The Citrus Health Response Program was developed to provide protection at every level of citrus production. Through the CHRP, state and federal agriculture officials, and the scientific and academic community continue to work with industry on how to best manage greening and other citrus diseases. The Department, in cooperation with UF/IFAS, has developed training materials to help the industry deal with the increased challenges of growing citrus. For more information, please visit www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi or call the Department’s toll-free helpline number 800-282-5153.
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