Department of Food and Agriculture relaxes rules for citrus packing
CDFA allows bulk citrus grown in HLB quarantine area to ship for final packing outside of HLB quarantine area
CALIFORNIA – The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and Huanglongbing (HLB) have wreaked havoc on citrus growers around the country. Scientists have managed to make strides in containing the problem, but some measures have come at the cost of the citrus industry. In order to protect California citrus from HLB while also supporting the industry, the California Department of Food and Agriculture will allow bulk citrus fruit grown in an HLB quarantine area to be shipped for final packing out of the quarantine area.
Bulk citrus will be shipped to a packer or processor and all growers, transporters and packers involved must operate under a signed compliance agreement with the Asian Citrus Psyllid/HLB Program. CDFA will provide growers, packers, and haulers involved with citrus fruit from an HLB quarantine zone with a new compliance agreement.
The following outlines compliance standards for growers, packers, and processors involved with fruit grown in the HLB quarantine area.
Growers in an HLB quarantine sending their fruit for packing outside of its original quarantine area will be required to meet either option (1), or both options (2) and (3) below to achieve the required pest risk mitigation performance standard:
- The fruit must be run through a wet wash which includes thoroughly wetting the fruit by spraying/dunking/drenching with water and brushing/cleaning.
If the wet wash option is not chosen, both of the following mitigations must be used:
- The grove must be treated with a CDFA agreed upon pre-harvest product effective against psyllids within 14 days of harvest.
- Fruit must be field cleaned and be free from all stems, leaves and other extraneous host material prior to leaving the grove of origin.
Packers/processors located outside of the HLB quarantine area who receive citrus fruit grown in an HLB quarantine area shall give priority to such shipments for receiving, unloading and cleaning.
HLB quarantine zones are identified as Zone 5 in the Asian citrus psyllid regional quarantine for bulk citrus movement that went into effect earlier this year. Maps and an FAQ about the new Asian citrus psyllid regional quarantines can be viewed here.