The European Union is finalizing a major change in the criteria of the protocol to combat Xylella fastidiosa, which is reducing the eradication area against plants infected by the bacteria from 100 to 50 meters. With this change, fewer trees would need to be uprooted.
With such a change in the regulations, Brussels would also allow the replanting in the affected area of tree species that have been free of Xylella for two years. This would facilitate the planting of olive trees, a crop that has proven to be resistant to the bacteria and which would adapt well to the areas that have been most hit by the pest.
61% analysis and action on 11,000 plots
The figures of the twelfth update on the pest in the Region of Valencia, which has been published in the Official Gazette of the regional Government, demonstrate the intensification of the controls, sampling and analysis. In 2019, a total of 21,168 samples were analyzed; 61% of the total collected since the detection of the first outbreak in June 2017.
The 1,217 new positives are due, therefore, to the reinforcement of the monitoring and tracing tasks, which aim to determine the seroprevalence of the pest in the Region of Valencia.
Reports indicate that the Xylella is present on 152,900 hectares, but it is not spreading to new territories, since the 8 new municipalities that have recorded positives were already included in the Council's radius of action (Alcoleja, Benilloba, Benimeli, Pego, Penàguila, Ràfol d'Almúnia, Sanet y Negrals and Sella).
The Council has carried out the removal of host species in 4,770 plots, while another 5,935 have been treated with pesticides to prevent the spread of the disease by vector insects.