HLB insect found in global lemon capital - FreshFruitPortal.com

HLB insect found in global lemon capital

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HLB insect found in global lemon capital

The insect that carries citrus greening disease has been found in the Argentine province of Tucumán, website Contexto.com.ar reported.

Tucumán Citrus Association (ATC) president Roberto Sánchez Loria, told the website there was unrest in the world's biggest lemon-producing region, but authorities were still doing a good job to prevent the disease.

Obispo Colombres Agroindustrial Experimental Station (EEAOC) officers discovered the Diaphorina citri insect in the urban forest of San Miguel de Tucumán, but laboratory analysis of host plant samples showed the disease was absent, the story reported.

An EEAOC statement said quarantine procedures also involved chemical treatment of trees in the area, as well as the eradication of perennial Murraya paniculata plants nearby.

"Based on the results above, it can be confirmed that the presence of D. Citri has been confined to an urban focus point under treatment, and the absence of the disease can be confirmed," the statement said.

Citrus greening disease is also known as Huanglongbing (HLB), which means 'yellow dragon' in Chinese.

The discovery comes less than two weeks after a group of Argentine agricultural institutions formed the Regional Committee for the Prevention of Huanglongbing (HLB), with plans to launch a marketing program to raise awareness about the disease and prevention strategies.

HLB currently exists in 40 countries including Argentina's neighbors Bolivia and Brazil.

If the disease is discovered it would pose a serious threat to growers' negotiations for U.S. market entry, as well as existing export relationships.

Related stories: Argentina launches HLB awareness campaign

Mexico could channel Argentine lemons to the U.S.

Argentine lemon testing near completion for U.S. regulators

HLB disease could affect 60% of Mexico's citrus industry

Photo: Atcitrus


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