CDFA is joining the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in encouraging Californians to make the annual May 5 festivities a “Citrus de Mayo” affair by celebrating citrus’ role in the day’s food and culture—while also raising awareness of the serious threat that citrus diseases like huanglongbing pose to California’s residential and commercial citrus.
From the limes and oranges we use to marinate carne asada, to the limes we squeeze over our guacamole, tacos and ice-cold beverages, citrus is at the center of Cinco de Mayo activities.
Huanglongbing, also known as citrus greening, is one of the most serious citrus plant diseases in the world. Once a tree is infected, there is no known cure. Some citrus producing states like California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas, have areas under quarantine for huanglongbing, which causes green, misshapen fruit and a bitter taste in fruit. Huanglongbing has now ruined millions of citrus plants in the southeastern United States. The first case of the disease in California was confirmed in Los Angeles County on March 30, 2012.
To learn more about the Save Our Citrus program or to report suspected citrus disease, visit http://www.saveourcitrus.org. Citizens can assist in Save Our Citrus efforts by observing quarantine restrictions and refraining from taking or sending citrus fruit, trees, leaves or any part of their trees away from where they are grown. A new detection tool, the Save Our Citrus free iPhone app, enables residents to identify and report citrus diseases to CDFA’s Pest Hotline, 1-800-491-1899.