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Spain: Destruction of Valencian trees affected by Xylella fastidiosa

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-07-10  Views: 13
Core Tip: Technicians from the Regional Council of Agriculture of the Government of Valencia started Monday with the destruction of trees and plant material hosting the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa within a radius of 100 metres of a plantation in Guadalest.
Technicians from the Regional Council of Agriculture of the Government of Valencia started Monday with the destruction of trees and plant material hosting the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa within a radius of 100 metres of a plantation in Guadalest. It is the first time that the bacterium has been detected in the Peninsula.

These actions are part of the protocol launched last Friday, after the presence of the bacterium was detected on a plot with almond trees in the municipality of Alicante. Its owner warned that there was a decline in the production in a plantation whose specimens are more than 30 years old and where no grafting had taken place.

The Autonomous Secretary of Agriculture, Francisco Rodríguez Mulero, explained that the area where the outbreak was detected has been delimited. He also pointed out that they are just following the steps of the contingency plan established in the protocol.

Moreover, the land within a radius of 150 meters has been sprayed to eliminate any insect vectors. The scientific committee that met last Friday advised a safety radius greater than 100 metres around the plot. This hosts about 7 hectares of almonds, olive trees and forest.

Machines have already started with the destruction of all almond trees of the plot in Guadalest, as well as of all plant materials hosting the bacteria. Also, the owners of the plots within the radius are being identified to inform them about the protocol that needs to be carried out.

At the same time, there are on-going inspections on nurseries and plant purchase and sale facilities within a 10 km radius of the Guadalest plot to collect samples and analyse possible movements of plant material. The Council has immobilised this material and no permission will be given for its release until it is confirmed to be free of Xylella.

It is impossible to know the origin of the bacterium. The most logical reason is that it has been carried by a vector (an insect), according to Rodríguez Mulero. He also recalled that the Government of Valencia has an insect catching network in place with 1,400 control points.

The regional secretary has assured that the rights of producers in these cases are fully covered and recognised, and that they will receive compensations from the Government of Valencia. He also stated that the Council of Agriculture is working on the controls to fight against the vectors and is prepared to eradicate any outbreak.
 
keywords: Xylella fastidiosa
 
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