In addition to home grown citrus, commercial crops of satsumas, lemons, navel and Louisiana sweet oranges, grapefruit and kumquats are produced in the warm climates of the coastal parishes, primarily in Plaquemines Parish. The gross farm value of all citrus production in Louisiana in 2012 was $5.2 million.
Don’t Go Green: Louisiana Citrus is at Risk
We need your help to prevent the spread of citrus greening disease, also known as Huanglongbing (HLB). Citrus greening disease (HLB) is one of the most severe plant diseases in the world. It can affect any variety of citrus trees. Once a tree is infected with the disease, there is no known cure.
5 Things You Need to Know
- Be Aware of Quarantines. Currently two parishes are under federal and state quarantine for citrus greening disease – Orleans and Washington – and the entire state is under federal quarantine for Asian citrus psyllid, the tiny insect that spreads the disease from plant to plant. Do not move citrus trees, fruit or trimmings from quarantine areas. Not only are you risking spreading citrus diseases, but it's also against the law.
- Inspect Citrus Plants Regularly for Diseases and Insects. Check plants for signs of citrus greening such as leathery-feeling leaves with yellow mottling or blotches. Fruit from infected trees may be small, deformed and taste bitter. It can also retain a green color rather than ripening to the expected shades of yellow or orange. If you detect an infected plant, report it immediately.
- Keep Homegrown Citrus at Home. Help reduce the spread of citrus diseases by not moving your home-grown citrus fruit or plants from quarantine areas.
- Check the Citrus Plant Supplier. Be a savvy buyer. Only buy citrus plants from reputable Louisiana sources that have a current state permit to grow or sell plants. Follow instructions on the tag regarding the Asian citrus psyllid or HLB.
- Avoid Fines and Penalties. If you knowingly purchase citrus in violation of federal quarantine regulations and requirements, the penalties could range from $1,100 to $60,000 per violation. If you suspect citrus is being moved improperly, report your concerns to the USDA’s State Plant Health Director's office; you can find contact information online at www.aphis.usda.gov/StateOffices.