Emergency Pest Treatment Update & Instructions Provided

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Date Published: 
January 15, 2014

As concerns about Asian citrus psyllid have increased, we are making an effort to update our process for addressing mandated applications of prohibited materials due to federal or state emergency pest or disease eradication plans.

CCOF has worked to provide some standards information and established a system for operations to get rapid responses in the case of mandated treatments. Visit our new Emergency Pest or Disease Treatments page for more information, answers, and tools.

The following email was sent on January 10, 2014, to all CCOF citrus producers in an effort to provide information:

It has come to our attention that as concerns continue at the state and federal level about the Asian citrus psyllid, the vector of citrus greening disease (known as huanglongbing or HLB), a few CCOF growers may be affected by mandatory treatment orders or quarantine zones. These zones typically require postharvest treatments or cleaning prior to movement of crops.

We have developed the helpful attached document to explain your options and provide answers to common questions about state/federal pest or disease eradication efforts. This document describes the relevant standards, identifies what CCOF needs to support you, and answers common questions, in addition to providing you an avenue to get any necessary requests reviewed quickly without additional fees. If you are concerned about a treatment requirement, or face one in the future, please refer to this document.

Please note that there is a difference between mandatory treatments of trees and postharvest cleaning/movement options, which include physical or chemical treatments. In general, only mandated treatments of the crop in the field are subject to exemptions for organic status.

The bottom line is that in a mandated emergency treatment situation where you are required by the state or federal authorities to apply a prohibited material to your organic crop, you may only lose the organic status of the treated crop, not the land.

In either situation, it is important that you communicate with us before any treatments so that we can answer questions and ensure you meet the National Organic Program requirements for applicable exemptions.

For certification information and to address specific treatment orders, please contact your Certification Service Specialist (CSS), who is listed at the bottom of letters from CCOF. View the CSS list.

We continue to work with CDFA on this and other invasive pest issues and encourage CDFA to find and validate organically acceptable treatment protocols.

More information about this and other pests can be found in the CCOF blog under "pests and pesticides."

CDFA has additional information and specific details on quarantine and eradication zones that are updated regularly as pests are found or other mandates are implemented.

If you have questions not specifically about your certification, such as treatment options or current discussions with CDFA, please contact policy@ccof.org.

Thank you for your ongoing hard work and support producing organic citrus.