Neil O’Connell, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Tulare County, a citrus expert, recommends that field staff also be well versed on these issues since they are in the field daily during the citrus harvest.
Huanglongbing, a disease spread by Asian citrus psyllid, is the worst citrus disease in the world. The disease was detected on one tree in Southern California in March, the first such find in the state. Officials are asking for farmers and home gardeners to be on the look-out for other HLB-infected trees.
O'Connell says deficiencies of zinc, iron and manganese can resemble leaf symptoms found in trees with HLB.
"Some deficiencies have fairly similar symptoms," O'Connell said. "If you are very familiar with deficiency patterns in these elements then it is much easier to separate this out. You can recognize whether the problem is zinc, iron, manganese, or another deficiency while possibly ruling out HLB."
A distinguishing characteristic of HLB infection is a yellow area that crosses from one interveinal area to another, O'Connell explained.
"We're really good at providing detailed information to researchers, agricultural commissioners, Cooperative Extension advisors, inspectors and border protection agents about what to look for and how to respond," said Beth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside. "We can reach thousands of people that way."
But with Asian citrus psyllid and Huanglongbing, "we're dealing with backyard situations, which is a whole new ballgame."
Campbell attended a conference in Davis last week focused on "Educating the public about new invasive species threatening California's plant ecosystems." Conference topics -- Huanglongbing disease, Asian citrus psyllid, light brown apple moth (LBAM), quagga and zebra mussels, European grapevine moth, sudden oak death, Japanese dodder, gold-spotted oak borer and red palm weevil -- were addressed by scientists, public officials, a public relations professional and a Sacramento Bee reporter.
"The public needs to be a partner in our efforts to respond to an invasive pest threat," said UC Davis post-doctorate researcher Margareta Lelea, who studied public reaction to LBAM treatments in Santa Cruz. "We need to figure out how we get to shared issues that the public cares about. The community has to be heard and feel like a partner in solving pest problems."
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
The greatest immediate threat may be to the homeowners of Los Angeles County, 60 percent of who have a citrus tree in their yard, said Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist and research entomologist in the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside and director of Lindcove Research & Extension Center.
The citrus greening bacteria probably spread from the cutting of budwood illegally brought in from outside the country, the article says Grafton-Cardwell said.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Asian citrus psyllid, which can spread the bacteria that cause the disease, is already infesting Southern California. Rachael Myrow of the California Report blogged about interviewing Mark Hoddle, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside, in January about his efforts to fight the psyllid by releasing Punjabi wasps.
Beth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist based at UC Riverside and director of the Lindcove Research & Extension Center, has been educating backyard gardeners and commercial growers how to identify and control the insect.
Reporter Ryan Raiche covered a meeting at the University of Florida Citrus Research and Extension Center where UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Paul Vossen introduced growers to olive production and marketing and offered citrus growers the opportunity to taste a variety of olives and olive oils.
“This is not a slam dunk, because this is a really peculiar crop that needs really specific things in order to flower and fruit,” Vossen said.
Olives thrive in a dry climate where it’s not too hot and not too cold. Vossen said rain during bloom season could wipe out the crop.
Ojai man appointed to Regional Water Quality Control Board
Ventura County Star
Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed Ventura County UC Cooperative Extension director emeritus Larry Yee to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.
The board oversees water quality issues and has the power to fine polluters.
Yee worked for the UC Cooperative Extension from 1975 to 2008 and was the Ventura County director from 1986 to 2008. He also was director of the UC Hansen Trust, which was set up to promote agricultural research and education.