Citrus disease HLB affects 10% of lemon plantings in Colima, Mexico
In the more than seven months since the first discovery of HLB in a lemon plantation near Colima, Mexico, the bacteria has been found in 93 other sites, representing 2,204 hectares, according to Mexican newspaper El Universal.
The problem is severe, because the land is 10% of the total area planted with lemons in the state, and the number of cases of the “yellow dragon” disease continue to grow, according to Salvador Becerra Rodríguez, the federal Agriculture Ministry’s delegate to Colima, the website said.
There are 25,000 hectares of land dedicated to lemon in the state, tended by 3,600 growers, that produce 500 metric tons of lemons a year. The output generates 1.4 billion pesos (US $113 million) per year, according to the website.
Becerra Rodríguez said that the strategy for mitigating the impact of the citrus disease, for which there is no cure, consists of three parts: complete new plantings, replant with certified stock and a higher population density, the website said.
That’s because an plant grown in an area with low phytosanitary controls likely will be infected, and removing it would continue spreading the disease, the website said.