April 06, 2011

Citrus Under Attack

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (April 5, 2011) – A disease called huanglongbing (HLB) that’s often carried by a small insect called the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) is threatening the oranges, mandarin oranges, lemons, limes and tangerines that you like to eat.

ACP has been detected in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. It’s also in Asia, China, India, South and Central America and Mexico.

California, the second-largest citrus-producing state in the U.S., is especially concerned. The California Senate Republican Office of Policy says ACP and HLB could cost the state’s nearly $1.9 billion citrus industry about $224 million a year.

The Office of Policy sounded the alarm last year because of what’s happening in Florida. It determined that Florida’s $9 billion citrus industry, which supports 76,000 jobs, loses about $300 million a year due to ACP and HLB. About 60,000 acres of trees have been removed in that state — that’s 10 percent of Florida’s citrus production. Some estimate that nearly all of Florida’s citrus trees may be infected within 12 years.

“HLB disease causes the fruit to become inedible and the tree has to be destroyed to prevent the disease from spreading,” said Lance Walheim, author of Citrus, a citrus grower and gardening expert for Bayer Advanced™. “Worse yet, there’s no cure.”

What Homeowners Can Do

According to the National Gardening Association, 12 million households in the U.S. grow fruit trees, including citrus. So, what should homeowners do to protect their citrus trees from ACP?

Bayer Advanced Fruit, Citrus and Vegetable Insect Control (BayerAdvanced.com) kills ACP and other destructive pests such as citrus leafminer. Just mix it in a watering can and apply it to the base of the citrus tree. It protects from the inside out. Always read and follow label directions.

If you happen to see ACP on your citrus trees, be sure to call your county extension service. You can also learn more by visiting Saveourcitrus.org and Californiacitrusthreat.org.

About Bayer Advanced™

Bayer Advanced is one of the leading consumer lawn and garden brands in the United States. Driven by innovative thinking and category-leading research, Bayer Advanced provides innovative and effective solutions that help consumers grow beautiful lawns and gardens and protect their landscapes from pests, weeds and diseases. Always read and follow label directions before using Bayer Advanced products. Visit www.bayeradvanced.com for more information and to view how-to videos, or call 1-877-BAYERAG.

Bayer Advanced is a business group of Bayer CropScience LP, the U.S. affiliate of Bayer CropScience AG. Bayer Advanced, Bayer CropScience LP, and Bayer CropScience AG are part of the Bayer AG family, a FORTUNE Global 500 company.

About Bayer CropScience

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 6.830 billion (2010), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and traits. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of 20,700 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com.