The state is adding $9.6 million to the battle against the Asian citrus psyllid, a threat to backyard and commercial trees.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill by Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, that earmarks this amount from a fund created mainly by assessments on farmers. Citrus is not a major crop in her district, which includes San Joaquin and parts of Stanislaus and Sacramento counties. It nonetheless has plenty of orange, lemon, grapefruit and other trees in residential areas.
The psyllid carries a disease called huanglongbing, or citrus greening, that has reduced the Florida industry to a quarter of its previous size. California aims to protect its own crops, grown mainly from Madera to Kern counties and in parts of Southern California. They supply fresh fruit mainly in winter, notably seedless mandarins sold under the Cuties and other labels.
Much of the Northern San Joaquin Valley is under quarantine following psyllid detections in recent years. Tree owners are urged not to move the fruit out of the boundaries. If they do, they must first remove the leaves and stems.
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The effort also includes setting traps to detect psyllids, inspection of nursery plants, and spraying where the pest is found. More information is at www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/acp.
Elsewhere on the Farm Beat:
KIDS SCIENCE CAMP
Children who just finished second through sixth grade can take part in summer camps sponsored by the National Ag Science Center, based in Modesto.
A pair of four-day camps will explore local food, nutrition, bees, the history of Stanislaus County, the solar system and more. They will take place at the Great Valley Museum on the Modesto Junior College West Campus. The first camp is 9 a.m. to noon June 20-23. The second is the same hours, June 27-30.
The cost is $80 per camp for museum members, $100 for others. They should register by June 19 at www.agsciencecenter.org.
FRESNO FOOD EXPO
Entries have started for awards to be presented at the fifth annual Fresno Food Expo, showcasing food and drink from the San Joaquin Valley.
The event, July 26-27 at the Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center, draws buyers for grocery chains, restaurants and other businesses around the world. The deadline is June 30 to enter these contests:
▪ Buyer’s Choice Award, judged by an expert panel
▪ People’s Choice Award, via public voting online
▪ Fred Ruiz Entrepreneurial Award, named for the leader of a Mexican food company in Tulare County.
More information is at www.fresnofoodexpo.com.
John Holland: 209-578-2385