Citrus Greening aka Huanglongbing is a devastating disease of citrus plant that is cause by the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. This bacterium is vectored by the insect, Asian Citrus Psyllid. In 2005, this disease was first found in the US in Florida. It has made an impact on the citrus industry in that state. In 2008, an infected plant as well as infected psyllids were found in Louisiana. Since then, this disease has been discovered in Georgia and South Carolina.
This disease pathogen has NOT been found in Texas. The insect vector is present in parts of Texas (southern counties), but NO infected psyllids has been found in Texas. We have a great opportunity to prevent this disease from getting a foothold in Texas. Hence in the next few months there are several opportunities for training around Texas for the people of Texas to participate in our EARLY SURVEILLANCE of Citrus Greening effort. Why is it so important? (1) There is currently no cure for an infected tree. Prevention is the better than cure (especially when there is none) (2) We want to prevent the situation where we CANNOT successfully grow citrus(in areas that we can grow citrus). (3) We can and should attempt to protect our citrus industry, both production and nursery.
Following are some training opportunities and resource links:
Master Gardener Specialist in Citriculture training ( July 29 & 30 – Rosenberg, September 2 & 3 – San Antonio) –visit http://www.texasmastergardeners.com/ (click on Specialist Training 2010).