Citrus canker detected in Georgia grove
On June 14, the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) alerted commercial and backyard citrus growers that citrus canker has been found in the state. The USDA’s Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA APHIS PPQ) laboratory has confirmed a suspected sample from a commercial citrus grove in Decatur County is citrus canker.
“Citrus canker is not harmful to humans, pets, or other animals but it is another disease our growers need to be on the lookout for,” said Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. “We want our citrus growers to be aware, so their produce remains marketable as fresh fruit.”
Citrus canker is caused by the bacterial pathogen xanthomonas citri, subspecies citri, and is a serious disease that affects all citrus varieties. Another citrus disease, citrus greening (also known as “HLB” or “huanglongbing”) is already established in some Georgia counties and is regulated by the USDA.
Federal guidelines require surveys to determine the extent of citrus canker establishment in the state. GDA and USDA APHIS PPQ personnel will begin surveying in the area this week.
Any backyard or commercial citrus grower that suspects his or her trees may be infected with citrus canker should contact the local University of Georgia Extension Agent (https://extension.uga.edu/county-offices.html) or the GDA Plant Protection office at 404-586-1140 to submit a sample.
Pictures of infected leaves and fruit may be viewed here.