Hass avocados removed as host in California quarantine
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the California Department of Food and Agriculture recently established an Oriental Fruit Fly quarantine in California's San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The quarantine area includes avocado production regions and listed Hass avocados as a host, which was inconsistent with USDA’s Mediterranean Fruit Fly and Mexican Fruit Fly host lists that do not include Hass avocados. California Avocado Commission staff immediately informed USDA of this inconsistency, which led USDA to remove Hass avocado from the host list on Oct. 27.
“The removal of the previously mandatory treatment requirements for fruit on trees within the quarantine area will result in significant savings for Hass avocado growers within the quarantine area,” said Ken Melban, CAC vice president of industry affairs and operations.
Other avocado varieties, including Bacon and Zutano, within the quarantine area are still required to follow the established treatment protocols. As with Mediterranean Fruit Fly and Mexican Fruit Fly quarantines, the harvest, shipping and packing of Hass avocados from within the quarantine region must comply with approved regulatory measures.
The grower requirements for Hass avocado production within the OFF quarantine zone will mirror the requirements for Mexican Fruit Fly quarantine areas. In addition, the requirements for packinghouses receiving Hass avocados from the quarantine area(s) will mirror the Mexican Fruit Fly requirements.
The commission also is working with USDA to remove Hass avocados as a host for the Queensland Fruit Fly quarantine, which currently includes parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. CAC will continue to work with USDA and CDFA on these fruit fly quarantines to ensure the harvest and transportation of fruit from within quarantine areas maintains the necessary safeguards to prevent the spread of the fruit fly while not creating unnecessary burdens on premium California avocado production.
“California avocado growers are committed to providing customers with consistently reliable avocados in season,” said Melban.