February 19, 2015 ACP Meeting Summary

February 19, 2015

To All Attendees: Re: Post ACP Meeting Summary (Take-Aways)

Thank you for investing the time to come and listen to our speakers and panel of PCA’s. I hope the information discussed was helpful for you in the management of your grove in light of this most serious pest.

Some of the things I came away with are included in the following bullet points:

• Though production of the Tamarixia wasp continues to increase, we are still in a deficit, especially when considering that the majority of the wasps are earmarked for more urban area releasing. Therefore, we need to persistently request this important predator and make sure we get it released in our groves this spring/summer.

• Control of Ants is extremely important if we want the Beneficial Insects (i.e., Tamarixia wasp, spiders, lacewings, etc.) to eat ACP eggs/nymphs and have increased effectiveness with treatment sprays.

• CRB funding needs to include research on the effectiveness of the complete IPM (non-spray approach) to controlling the ACP in Southern California.

• CPDPP will continue to promote its plan for all organic growers to follow a spray program for the year (i.e., spring and fall flushes and winter-over), with the additional support of growers introducing predator/beneficial insects into the groves between sprays.

• Our Local PCA’s seemingly support an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) approach of increasing the supply of predator insects in our groves and only spray if necessary.

• HLB (citrus greening disease) may begin to show up in the near future. We all need to do what we can to help prevent ACP populations from developing in and nearly our groves. It is time to be very proactive with our neighbors and the CPDPP to make sure these grove properties are inspected and treated, especially if they have less than 25 trees. Remember, there is no cost at this time for these smaller treatments.

• There was discussion regarding the formation of a group. I believe that this will be very helpful to our survival. As a group we can do the following:

1. Increase area-wide awareness with other organic citrus growers.
2. Increased numbers of organic growers in an ACP group gives us a respected voice with CDFA, CRB and CPDPP.
3. The CPDPP’s Outreach to influence nearby urban areas and control dead/neglected groves will be supported.
4. Hopefully impact the cost of existing organic spray and treatment materials and/or perhaps introduce new, less expensive alternatives for approval and use to control the ACP.
5. Improve and increase the communication between the Organic Grower, PCA and CPDPP with the use of a Networking Website where PCA’s in the Network can report in and growers can blog responses. Growers can then be informed of upcoming events, etc.

It’s amazing that we achieved this much in a half-day meeting. As you consider your approach to handling the ACP this year, I hope you will include a decision to stay connected. In being connected as it relates to the last Bullet Point, some of you signed up at our table with your email and phone number in order to start a committed grower list. If a website blog is set up, it will not be run by Rainbow Valley Orchards, but initiated by me as a grower along with the PCA’s that spoke in the Panel Session. I will be checking with the Farm Bureau for support on running this as well. As this develops, I will keep you informed. So, please let me know if you are in.

Lastly, if you have any comments or suggestions that you would like to report about the meeting or what you learned from the meeting, please feel free to contact me at one of the numbers listed above. Again, thanks for your support. Keep up the committed effort and Spread The Word!

Rich Hart