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Mexico: HLB infests lime crops in Michoacan

The chairman of the State Committee on Plant Health (CESV), Rito Mendoza Medina, said that "the yellow dragon is present in nearly all of the entity's lime producing area, which amounts to about 40 thousand hectares. Meanwhile, the head of the Ministry of Rural Development, Israel Tentory Garcia, said that the damage to crops was small.

In an interview about the Huanglonbing or yellow dragon disease, which is caused by a resistant bacterium and that is capable of destroying large crop areas, the president of the CESV, Rito Mendoza, said this disease was affecting nearly four thousand producers.

However, he said he considered this disease wouldn't affect lime exports because it didn't affect their quality and because the nature of US restrictions were focused on food safety.

In turn, the head of Sedru, Israel Tentory Garcia, said that "we are fighting the yellow dragon, a problem that has mostly affected Colima."

"There's not much in Michoacan. Fortunately it hasn't generated a considerable damage, but we are implementing preventive measures," he said.

Rito Mendoza said that the HLB bacterium, which is transmitted by the Diaphorina Citi insect, was present in almost the entire surface. However, he said, we are conducting controls on all the vector, which is how the bacteria is transmitted from one plant to another. Tentory Garcia estimated that there are between 38,000 and 40,000 hectares devoted to lime production in the entity.

He said that "after four or five years of working this crops, producers are finding out what they need to do to deal with this plague that won't be controlled and will always be there." He said that the important issue was to control the vector insect.

He added that "we are working on safety with 300 lime producers, so that they create the right program, just as we are doing in avocado, guava, and other products, so they can have a certificate from Senasica or a certificate demanded by the market, such as the Global Gap," he stated.


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