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Citrus Greening AND Citrus Canker Testing for Commercial and Residential Citrus (RESTARTING Sept. 2020)

Good news for Georgia citrus growers! After being forced to suspend our citrus greening testing of Georgia citrus samples back in March due to COVID-19, we are now able to restart this testing as of September 1st, 2020. In addition, we can now test samples for Citrus Canker as well as Citrus Greening, due to the receipt of additional funding.

In Fall 2020, samples will be accepted during the month of September. Sample testing will be carried out by the UGA Plant Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory in Tifton, GA.

Here’s the original announcement regarding this testing program:

My citrus pathology extension program was awarded a grant from the 2019 USDA/AMS Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to conduct a “Statewide survey of citrus greening caused by Candidatus liberibacter asiaticus” in 2020 and 2021. This means that each year, UGA Cooperative Extension Personnel can now accept a limited number of citrus samples for citrus greening testing free of charge (this usually costs $40 per sample). If you are a commercial citrus grower or if you have residential/backyard trees that may be suspect for this disease, please contact your local UGA Cooperative Extension office for further details regarding where, when, and how samples should be submitted to qualify for free testing. Samples must be submitted through a UGA Cooperative Extension Office. Both residential and commercial citrus samples (up to 25 samples per county per calendar year) will be accepted.

Additional guidelines and submission instructions can be found here. (Please note that the period for testing samples in Fall 2020 has been changed to September 1st through October 15th)

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About Jonathan Oliver

Dr. Jonathan Oliver is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Georgia. He has a 75% research and 25% extension appointment. Dr. Oliver started in his current position at the University of Georgia in mid-2017 as an extension fruit pathologist at the Coastal Plains Experiment Station in Tifton, Georgia. His responsibilities include research and extension activities focused on pathogen biology and disease management in fruit crops grown primarily in the southern part of Georgia, including blueberries, blackberries, citrus, and other emerging fruit crops. Dr. Oliver obtained a BS degree in Plant Pathology and Microbiology & Cell Science from the University of Florida in 2005, and a PhD in Plant Microbe Biology from Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY in 2011. In addition, he has also been postdoctoral researcher at Kansas State University and Auburn University. At Auburn, he characterized the interactions between the emerging bacterial pathogen, Xylella fastidiosa, and its blueberry plant hosts. He currently serves as a Plant Pathology Section editor for the Southeast Regional Blueberry Integrated Management Guide.