Arizona’s citrus industry predates statehood by decades. The sun and soil are perfect for growing oranges, tangerines, lemons and grapefruit. Citrus is one of the state’s iconic 5 Cs: Citrus, Cotton, Climate, Cattle and Copper.
Arizonan’s beautiful backyard citrus and the citrus industry are threatened by a tiny pest that can spread a fatal disease. The Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) came to North America from Asian and has spread throughout citrus producing states at an alarming rate. ACP has been found in people’s backyards, along public roads and commercial groves throughout the state. Arizona is now under a statewide quarantine for this pest, but the disease it carries is still not known to occur.
The ACP poses a threat because it is the carrier for a disease that kills citrus trees. The bacteria, commonly known as Citrus Greening Disease, has been found worldwide. In the U.S. it has been found throughout Florida and is making its way through Texas and now California. Once a tree is infected, the fruit will eventually become bitter and unusable. Infected trees will eventually die, in as little as a few years after symptoms are observed. The citrus industry in Florida and Texas has been hit hard by the disease costing more than a billion dollars and thousands of jobs.
Citrus Pest Questions
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