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Asian Citrus Psyllid Threatens CA Citrus

November 6, 2019
This agronomic image shows citrus in CA

For citrus growers and Pest Control Advisors in CA, the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) is a top-of-mind pest. ACP has been a perennial problem in southern CA, and we’re starting to find it in northern CA. We have to treat for it quite a bit, particularly around the flushing period.

Its biggest threat to citrus crops: It is a vector of Huanglongbing (HLB), the bacterium that causes citrus greening. This disease has severely damaged domestic citrus in TX and FL. Though citrus greening has not been confirmed in CA on a widespread level, it poses a dire threat to commercial citrus in the state.

There is no cure for citrus greening. Infected trees have yellow shoots with mottled leaves and produce green, misshapen fruit with bitter taste, rendering yields unmarketable. Ultimately, this disease causes tree death.

Citrus greening already has been detected in residential citrus in southern CA. While citrus greening has not yet been detected in commercial citrus, residential citrus trees grow in close proximity to many commercial orchards in the southern growing regions. This increases the risk of ACP infestation and subsequent spread of disease into commercial orchards.

Further north, citrus growers in the Central Valley also have ACP on their radar. While no HLB has been detected outside of southern CA, citrus growing areas in the Central Valley could see pressure from ACP, and subsequent transmission of HLB, if populations are not diligently scouted for and controlled.

Best management practices include spraying insecticides that have activity on both ACP and other concurrent pests. For control of ACP, Syngenta offers Minecto® Pro insecticide. It is a broad-spectrum, foliar insecticide that provides excellent knockdown of ACP coupled with additional activity on thrips and mites.

In addition to insecticide sprays, ACP management includes ongoing scouting to catch potential infestations at the edge of orchards before they can move to the interior.

For more insight into your citrus orchards and how to manage disease and insect pressure, contact your Syngenta representative.

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All photos are either the property of Syngenta or are used with permission.

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