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California citrus growers urged to mind export protocols to South Korea, China

California citrus growers wishing to ship fresh fruit to South Korea, China or Australia have been encouraged to pay close attention to export protocols, according to industry officials who spoke recently in Tulare.

For those shipping fruit to South Korea, protocols in place last year could largely remain the same though discussions exist into issues that could bring some changes.

At the heart of the issue is the necessity to keep the fuller rose beetle (FRB) and California red scale (CRS), two insects on a 22-page list of excluded pests into South Korea, out of shipments to the country. Not all of pests on this list are an issue for citrus growers.

Aggressive control efforts need to continue, according to John Loyd, trade specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This includes:
  • Maintaining aggressive grove treatment efforts based on University of California Integrated Pest Management (UC IPM) guidelines
  • Skirt pruning trees
  • Maintaining written standard operating procedure policies and grower letters on file
For FRB, skirt pruning, weed control, and a two-insecticide spray regime are recommended. Conversely, there are no specific requirements related to California red scale other than the need to control the pest, according to Jim Cranney, president, California Citrus Quality Council.

Though the USDA will not enforce or regulate UC IPM guidelines, Loyd says the agency will look at a grower’s use of these practices for fruit found during inspections that fails to meet export standards.

Loyd encourages growers and packinghouses to keep up with fruit fly quarantine updates in and around southern California ports as shipping fruit into or through those zones from outside those boundaries is regulated.

Publication date: 9/22/2017


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