Senator Vidak, Citrus Growers, Ag Commissioners Hold News Conference on Controlling Central Valley Citrus Pest

Friday, September 13, 2013

Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford), Central Valley Citrus Growers and area Ag Commissioners will hold two press conferences on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 regarding the recent discovery in the San Joaquin Valley of a dangerous citrus pest called the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP).

The first conference will begin at 10 a.m. in a citrus grove in Fowler.  The second conference is at 2:00 p.m. in a citrus grove near Bakersfield.  See the attached page for exact locations and driving directions.

Senator Vidak will be joined by Ag Commissioners Les Wright of Fresno County and Ruben Arroyo of Kern County.  The Ag Commissioners will provide an update regarding the ACP finds in their respective counties and explain how residents can help prevent this insect from destroying the California citrus industry. CDFA officials will also be present to display insect traps and demonstrate how to inspect trees for signs of ACP.

Citrus growers will be available for comment at both press conferences and interviews will be available in English and Spanish. 

The Asian citrus psyllid represents what could be a death sentence for the San Joaquin Valley's $1.5 billion citrus industry. It has the potential to spread a deadly and incurable citrus disease called Huanglongbing. Not only are commercial citrus trees at risk, but also the backyard trees many valley residents enjoy at their homes. 

"We need to act fast to make sure this pest does not destroy such a vital part of our valley agriculture and economy," said Vidak. "I'm urging folks to do their part to save the California citrus industry and the economic activity and jobs it creates in our Central Valley."

10:00 a.m.
NW Corner of E Central Avenue & S. Sunnyside Avenue, Fowler 
From Highway 99, take the Central Avenue exit in Fowler and head east toward S. Sunnyside Avenue is just past Clovis Ave and across from a nut packing shed.

2:00 p.m.
Pepper Drive & Palm Tree Drive (off Breckenridge), Bakersfield
From Bakersfield, take Highway 58 to Highway184/Weedpatch Highway and head north to Breckenridge Road. Turn right on Breckenridge and head East to Pepper Drive. Make a right on Pepper Road and head south to Palm Drive.