For Immediate Release
Monday, October 30, 2017 Contact: Amy Belcher 334-240-7126
Plant Disease Inspectors to Survey for Citrus Greening in Baldwin County
Montgomery, Ala. - Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) Plant Protection inspectors, along with USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) officers will soon begin conducting a survey for a harmful plant disease in Baldwin County. Inspectors will be searching for citrus plants with symptoms of citrus greening disease (Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus), also known as Huanglongbing (HLB). The disease poses a serious threat to the citrus industry nationwide. The public’s assistance is needed in finding citrus plants in and around residences in the area.
The survey will begin Monday, November 6th, and last through Thursday, November 9th. Inspectors will cover the Lillian, Elberta, Gulf Shores, and Foley area. It is necessary for personnel to go door-to-door to conduct the survey. Surveyors will contact homeowners in the targeted areas and provide information about citrus greening and its insect vector, the Asian citrus psyllid.
Surveyors will carry photo identification and credentials from their respective agencies.
The purpose of the survey is to determine the extent that citrus greening exists in Alabama. Although it is significant threat to citrus plants, it poses no risk to people. The fruit from diseased plants is safe to eat but has an unpleasant, bitter taste.
One citrus plant tested positive for citrus greening during ADAI’s routine spring survey earlier this year. Officials ask for the public’s help in locating citrus plants. It is vital to determine the extent of citrus greening disease in Baldwin County in an effort to prevent it from reaching Alabama’s commercial citrus groves.
It is not always possible to detect diseased plants by sight, as symptoms may be difficult to identify. Residents can go onto the ADAI website and fill out the Citrus Greening Delimiting Survey form to allow Plant Protection officials to inspect citrus trees growing on their property. To report possible symptomatic trees on your property, contact the ADAI Plant Protection Division at 334-240-7228 to arrange an inspection of suspect trees.
For more information about the delimiting survey, please contact Christel Harden by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 334-240-7226.
If you have questions concerning Asian citrus psyllids or citrus greening, contact your local Extension office (http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/E/EX-0021/EX-0021.pdf) or the Auburn University Plant Diagnostic Lab (http://offices.aces.edu/plantlabauburn/).
For more information about citrus pests and diseases in the U.S., visit the USDA website: www.SaveOurCitrus.org.