NOTIFICATION OF NEW QUARANTINED AREA.
09/24/2013. This is notification that, under provisions in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 4, Chapter 19, Rule 19.616 (having to do with infested geographic areas subject to the citrus greening quarantine), effective today the department has quarantined a new 5-mile radius area for citrus greening. Click HERE to view the map of the new quarantined area, which includes all areas north of the Rio Grande River that are inside the circle.
On January 13, 2012, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the first detection in Texas of citrus greening, an extremely destructive plant disease that threatens the state’s citrus industry. TDA immediately placed an emergency quarantine on the entire area within for a 5-mile radius of the infected trees. An emergency quarantine of the 5-mile area remains in effect, although some details of the quarantine have been revised. No citrus nursery trees inside the quarantine area may be moved, and no citrus trees outside the quarantined area may be moved into the quarantined area, except under a special permit issued by TDA.
On March 14, 2012, TDA issued an updated emergency quarantine that specifies conditions for movement of citrus nursery stock within and outside of the citrus zone. The citrus zone includes the following counties: Brooks, Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Kenedy, Starr, Willacy and Zapata.
Citrus greening is a bacterial disease that attacks the vascular system of plants. Once infected, there is no cure for a tree with citrus greening disease. In areas of the world where citrus greening is endemic, citrus trees decline and die within a few years. Trees known to host the disease include, grapefruit, orange, lemon, tangerine and orange jasmine.
Primarily, an insect called the Asian citrus psyllid transmits the bacterium that causes citrus greening. In June 1998, a psyllid that carried the strain of citrus greening was found for the first time in the United States in Florida. Citrus greening is now confirmed in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas.
Symptoms of citrus greening disease are similar to plants with severe growth deficiencies, including yellow shoots, twig dieback, tree decline and reduced fruit size and quality. Older leaves develop a characteristic mottling, or patches of discoloration. The fruit drops off before ripening and has poor color.
The disease poses absolutely no threat to human health as it affects only the tree and not the fruit itself. The disease has caused serious economic damage to the citrus industries in Florida, Africa, Asia and South America. Citrus producers and homeowners with citrus plants are asked to comply with quarantine measures to protect Texas citrus trees.
New Requirements for Movement of Citrus Nursery Plants Produced in the Citrus Zone
As a protection for the citrus industry and as a preventative measure to slow the spread of the disease, mandatory treatments to control Asian citrus psyllid (in accordance with APHIS guidelines for interstate movement of citrus plants) will be required for all citrus nursery stock production in the citrus zone prior to movement within and outside the zone.
Effective May 1, 2012, all citrus nursery stock produced in the citrus zone must be treated with an APHIS-approved systemic insecticide (soil drench) at least 30 days but no more than 90 days before shipment. This must be followed by an APHIS-approved foliar spray no more than 10 days before shipment. Treatment must be conducted with an APHIS- and EPA-approved product labeled for use on citrus in nurseries. Persons applying treatments must follow the product label, its applicable directions and all restrictions and precautions, including statements pertaining to Worker Protection Standards.
Approved products for treatment of nursery stock are as follows:
- Baythroid XL (cyfluthrin),
- Lorsban 4E (chlorpyrifos),
- Admire 2 Flowable (imidacloprid),
- Brigade 2EC (bifenthrin), and
- Discus (imidacloprid/cyfluthrin).
Movement of Citrus Plants Into and Within the Quarantine Area.
As of January 18, 2012, TDA placed all citrus and orange jasmine nursery stock in the quarantine area under a seizure order. Effective March 14, 2012, citrus trees from locations outside of or inside of the quarantined area may be moved under special permit to a commercial citrus grove inside the quarantined area for planting. To request a special permit, contact the TDA regional office in San Juan at (956) 787-8866.