Thursday, November 23, 2017
Text Size

20170223 Mex Fruit FlyOver the next five years Mexican Fruit Flies could cost the citrus industry $1.44 billion in lost revenues in three states including Texas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, other parasites such as the Asian Citrus Psyllid could contribute even more to lost citrus revenues, according to South Texas Citrus Alert (STCA).

STCA officials say homeowners who fail to address parasites affecting trees in their yards could be exacerbating the problem. That’s why the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office in conjunction with the STCA is holding a Winter Texan Citrus Center Festival Feb. 10 at the Texas A& M University-Kingsville Citrus Center in Weslaco.

Lorenzo Garza is the STCA’s outreach specialist whose job is, among others, to inform the public about the parasite problem. The STCA is a quasi-governmental entity that is part of the Texas Citrus Pest and Disease Management Corporation and works closely with the U.S.D.A., the university and the Texas Department of Agriculture.

STCA estimates there are approximately a half million citrus trees growing in the yards of private homes in the RGV. The organization is promoting a program that calls for residents to pick clean their trees each year by April 30.

Garza said in a telephone interview last week, “All the fruit should be picked off the tree by April 30th. The U.S.D.A. is also pushing this and we’re trying to have a specific date in which the residents should have the fruit off their trees. This gives them a target date.”

Garza said there are currently several areas in the RGV under quarantine that has stopped citrus production in some areas of the Valley.

20170223 CITRUS QUARANTINE MAP“You cannot pick fruit in a quarantine area, period,” Garza said. “You cannot even exchange fruit within a quarantine area.”

Garza said authorities recommend citrus tree owners in quarantined areas pick their trees clean and dispose of the fruit. He said it’s not recommended that homeowners in quarantine areas attempt to eat the fruit from the trees in their yards.

“Basically the flies evolve from a larvae from an egg laid in the fruit. That larvae becomes a maggot which becomes a fly so if you cut that orange open it may look fine but you might find a nice little worm or a nice little maggot or any stage that precedes flies and you might not see that,” he said.

During the Feb. 10 event, citrus experts will inform the public the best ways to maintain their fruit trees and to kill the Asian Citrus Psyllid, a small insect that attaches itself to the bottom side of citrus tree leaves.

“Basically it injects its larvae into the leaf and into new growth on a tree,” Garza said. Then the tree starts to develop a blotchy spot on the leaf and it starts consuming the tree. It’s a non-curable disease and after it hits that one spot it starts spreading along the tree until you start seeing deformed fruit, you’ll start seeing the quirky veins on the leaves until you see the die back of the tree itself.”

During the event, plant pathologists and doctors of horticulture will be on hand to give advice on what pesticides and fungicides work best to protect citrus trees. They will also offer advice on when and how to fertilize citrus trees.

The Feb. 10 event takes place from 9 a.m. to noon at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center, 312 N. International Blvd., Weslaco.

Top News

  • Winter Texans bring Christmas joy to children

    20171123 OPERATION CHRISTMASChristmastime is a time many of us think of others and seek ways to help those in need – those who are less fortunate. So many children go without proper food, shelter and essential medical care every day along the border.

    Read More +

  • Residents enjoy Country Jam at El Valle de la Luna/Del Sol

    20171123 COUNTRY JAM ElValleDelLuna Miller IMG 4232Jim Brommel took a step back from the mic during a musical interlude and cleared his voice. “That's really high,” he said before stepping back up and finishing the song “Old Rugged Cross” to the applause of those in attendance.

    Read More +

  • Swing Street Big Band set for 18th season

    20171122 Swing Street 4514Band leader Bob Comeau plays the alto sax during practice for the Swing Street Big Band. The band performs it's first show of the season from 3 to 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Texas Theater Ballroom, located at 115 E Newcombe Ave. in… Read More +

  • RGV welcomes return of Ralph Kuster's variety musical performances

    20171123 Ralph Kuster PhotoRalph Kuster's vocal range is only surpassed by the beautiful tone of his voice and the vast number of songs he knows.

    Since 2012 Kuster, has performed in the Rio Grande Valley. A Canadian in the summer months, Kuster used to be… Read More +

  • Pine To Palm's Bissillions among top shuffleboarders

    20171116 Shuffleboard Bissillions him 3008

    Brian Bissillion, of Pine to Palm Resort, takes a shot on one of the new 20 shuffleboard courts at the resort in Welsaco. Brian and his wife Gina are among the top shuffleboarders in South Texas.

    Gina and Brian Bissillion haven’t had a chance to find their… Read More +

  • Season of concerts arrives for RGV music groups

    20171116 Men of A chord MOERINGMen of A Chord

    Bob Lemkuil directs a number during a rehearsal last week of the Magic Valley Men of A-Chord men's chorus at St. Mark United Methodist Church in McAllen. The chorus is made of 40 plus barbershop singers.

    Read More +

  • Bit-O-Heaven holds craft sale

    20171116 Bit O Heaven CraftFair GREGu IMG 4801

    New wardrobes for American Girl dolls

    Rosie Armstrong displayed new wardrobe items designed to fit the popular American Girl dolls many Winter Texan’s granddaughters have.

    Christmas is coming soon and craft sales are often a great source for people seeking gifts… Read More +

  • Many parks with new or improved ‘toys’ for Winter Texans

    20171116 Pine to Palm Pickleball HM IMG 2955

    Pine to Palm resident Dave Gemmell enjoys playing on one of the two new pickle ball courts at the resort, which also built 20 new shuffleboard courts for residents.

    There are new “toys” to welcome Winter Texans back at… Read More +

  • Camille Playhouse presents ‘End of the Rainbow’

    The Camille Playhouse, located at 1 Dean Porter Park (across from the Gladys Porter Zoo) in Brownsville, will present the musical drama of Judy Garland's “comeback” during Christmastime in 1968. Entitled “End of the Rainbow,” the show will be performed at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17 and 18, and Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2:30 p.m.

    Read More +

  • Halloween bash starts social season at Victoria Palms

    20171109 Victoria Palms Halloween contest 2

    Winter Texans at Victoria Palms Resort went all out with their costumes for the Halloween Bash and dance.

    Halloween marks the start of the social season at many of the larger parks in the Rio Grande Valley and Victoria Palms is no exception. Early arriving Winter Texans… Read More +

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • All
  • Border
  • Charity
  • Free Health Care
  • Groceries
  • Grocery Stores
  • HEB
  • Immigration
  • Mission
  • Operation Lonestar
  • Ribbon Cutting
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Sharyland
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
load more hold SHIFT key to load all load all