Citrus canker has been detected in Alabama. Plant health officials have confirmed the plant disease in a residential area of Baldwin County, Alabama, which is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and state of Florida.
This is the first detection of citrus canker in Alabama. It can affect all citrus species.
Though the disease is harmless to humans, it can affect the vitality of citrus trees. Leaves and fruit will drop prematurely. It is especially costly to producers since its marketability is reduced. The bacteria remain viable on plant surfaces for multiple months.
The disease thrives in areas with high rainfall and high temperatures. Though all citrus species are vulnerable to the disease, grapefruit and limes are most susceptible.
The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries and U.S. Department of Agriculture APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine officials are conducting a delimiting survey to determine the extent the pathogen may have spread. It started this month and will last several weeks.
Surveillance teams will survey all citrus within a five-mile radius around each positive site, collect foliage and fruit samples for testing and gather data on the history of symptomatic plants.