California recently passed a state law designed to combat the spread of an Asian citrus pest. All citrus loads transported through California now must be covered, no matter where it’s coming from or where it’s headed. The mandatory tarping regulation is in response to industry concerns over the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid (sill’-lid). A recent analysis by the University of California of the spread of the pest shows a lot of movement primarily along transportation corridors. California officials felt the measure was necessary for preventing the spread of a deadly citrus tree disease that the pest can spread from tree to tree. The Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee recommended the state take those steps, even if citrus loads are just moving from point-to-point within the same county. The California Department of Food and Agriculture will begin contacting growers, haulers, and packers with the updated standards very soon, but they do recommend everyone in the chain to begin preparations for the new requirements as soon as possible.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.