Earlier this year, the California Department of Food and Agriculture mailed letters to about 6,000 citrus farmers, trucking companies and others involved in shipping commercial citrus, informing them of new rules about transporting the fruit. The new rules are part of the state's plan to slow the spread of citrus greening a.
The rule requires citrus being moved in open truck beds to be covered with a tarp to avoid the spread of the disease-carrying Asian citrus psyllid. While the rule requires such precautions if driving out of a state-designated quarantine area, there is a new requirement for truckers to do this while moving within those quarantine areas as well.
State officials are taking the new rules so seriously that they’re authorizing the California Highway Patrol and sheriff’s deputies in the 29 California counties under full or partial quarantines to pull over trucks with untarped loads, Sharma told a crowd of citrus growers and others involved in the industry gathered for the California Citrus Mutual’s 2017 Citrus Showcase March 2 at the Visalia Convention Center.
Sharma said no date has been determined to start enforcement, but the delay may only last a few weeks.