First Detector Network: USA Huanglongbing and citrus canker (CT18003)
What was it all about?
The citrus industry’s First Detector Network is made up of a range of personnel working in commercial orchards, packing sheds and the research community, who regularly undertake inspection and monitoring of trees and fruit for high-priority pests during seasonal production, harvesting and packing. The group is coordinated under Improving biosecurity preparedness of the Australian citrus industry (CT17001).
Investment CT18003 provided funding for network representatives to undertake a 2019 field visit to the United States, where the citrus industry in Florida was mounting a campaign to find and destroy Huanglongbing and Asian citrus psyllid (a vector of the disease) as they threaten to enter the main production region in the San Joaquin valley. Areas of the region have also been significantly affected by citrus canker.
The visit was an opportunity for the Australian industry to gain insights and improve surveillance techniques to better prepare for incursions of such exotic pests, and to see firsthand the impacts and symptoms of both Huanglongbing and canker.
After their visit, the tour participants agreed that early detection of Asian citrus psyllid and a rapidly executed, detailed and national response plan will be essential to eradicate any incursions and maintain the Australian citrus industry’s HLB-free status. A list of recommendations has been made for industry to consider, including the establishment of a national Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee who will be tasked with implementing the coordinated response.
This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Citrus Fund