Business

Friday, Dec 07 2012 02:56 PM

Kern citrus must follow quarantine guidelines if doing business in Tulare

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

A quarantine zone established because a citrus pest was found in Tulare County will not extend into Kern County, according to the Kern County Department of Agriculture and Measurement Standards.

But citrus growers, haulers and processors in Kern will need to follow certain guidelines if they plan to transport fruit from, through or to Tulare.

The bug that was found is called the Asian citrus psyllid. Psyllids can be carriers of huanglongbing, a disease that can kill citrus plants. Two of the pests were found in Tulare in November.

Those in Kern with business in Tulare may need to sign a compliance agreement, which stipulates what needs to be done to follow the quarantine. Some of the requirements include washing and removing leaf and stem debris before leaving the quarantine area, maintaining records of shipments outside the quarantine area and posting information about the psyllid in an obvious area.

There is also the possibility of the quarantine extending into Kern if more of the bugs are found, according to the agriculture department.

All forms that must be filled out are available at the county's website at http://www.kernag.com/caap/detection/acp/acp.asp. More information on the quarantine can be found at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/acp/.

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