Mexico: Pests threaten 40,000 hectares of citrus

In addition to the lack of water and the last drought recorded by the organization now citrus growers are warning that, according to research, at least seven plagues threaten 40,000 hectares of citrus in the downtown area of Tamaulipas (Mexico).

Among other pests, producers are concerned about the fruit fly, aphid Coffee, Mealybug and citrus tristeza virus.

Although there is no record of an outbreak so far, growers in the state are concerned and are asking that phytosanitary measures be doubled so that fruits infected by these pests do not enter Tamaulipas.

In this regard Humberto Ramírez Vázquez, Federal Plant Protection Deputy, said that for the time being Tamaulipas is free of these pests, because of the preventive health actions that are performed.

What's alarming about the situation is that, for example, the Yellow Dragon, currently affects citrus trees of Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Colima, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa and Yucatán, and has already caused devastating damage. Fortunately, the bacterium hasn’t developed yet in the state.

The Yellow Dragon is eradicated by spraying chemical insecticides and paraffin oils, which interfere with the insects' metabolism and controls their reproduction without creating resistance.

This pest represents the most serious threat to the 550,000 acres of citrus established in 23 states of the Mexican Republic.

Previously the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) had the sole authority of monitoring, verifying and preventing pests from being introduced into the country, a situation that has changed because now the state government and the Senasica (National Service of Health, Food Safety and Quality) are also involved in these actions.

As far as the citrus tristeza virus is concerned, he said that they had had several positives seven years ago and, following norm 031, were eradicated.

But, he assured, the vector (aphid coffee) that emits the virus hasn't been detected in the Tamaulipas citrus area; whereas, in the southeast of the country, it has been detected in the states of Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche, Plates, and Yucatán to mention a few.

Source: La Capital

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