Bayer and California Citrus Mutual have teamed up to help protect California’s $ 2.4 billion commercial citrus industry from the deadly Asian citrus psyllid through the Abandoned Citrus Tree removal program.
The Asian citrus psyllid vectors the deadly Huanglongbing disease, commonly known as citrus greening disease. The ACT removal program allows growers to identify abandoned trees that could threaten their groves.
Asian citrus psyllid is a formidable threat to the industry. Even under the best insect-management programs in commercial groves, the pest moves readily from residential areas to commercial farming operations and then from one grove to another. The psyllids feed on the leaves and stems of citrus trees, which infects them with the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus that causes HLB. Infected trees rapidly decline in health, produce inedible fruit and usually die within two to five years. HLB is one of the most serious citrus diseases in the world. Once a tree is infected, there is no cure.