$10 Million in Funds Available to Stop Citrus Disease

California Governor Jerry Brown authorized $10 million in funding in the 2017 budget to prevent the spread of the invasive insect Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and Huanglongbing (HLB), a citrus-killing disease carried by the insect.

ACP feeds on citrus plant leaves and stems, causing deformation and plant stunting. It is a known carrier of HLB. The insect and disease have causes over $7 billion in economic impact in Florida, and its arrival in California poses a major threat. While it has yet to spread to commercial citrus trees, approximately 375 trees have been removed in Kern County, and programs are rolling out across the state to remove unwanted citrus trees as a proactive measure. More information on the pest, disease, and their spread into California can be found in this update on our blog
Governor Brown’s authorization of funds comes one month after his signing of SB 243: Citrus Disease Prevention into law. SB 243 appropriates over $9 million from the Citrus Disease Management Account to the California Department of Food and Agriculture for expenses necessary for the prevention and management of citrus disease. Both SB 243 and the authorizing of funds in the 2017 budget show the legislature’s and governor’s strong approach in combating ACP and HLB. California’s citrus industry contributes over $3 billion in economic activity and employs 22,000 workers. The spread of the disease could be catastrophic to the state’s iconic citrus industry.
CCOF has shared information on invasive pest management tips on our blog. If you have spotted ACP on your trees or suspect your trees are infected with HLB, please call the statewide pest hotline at (800) 491-1899. For more information, please contact the CCOF policy department.