USDA trade specialist John Loyd told a grower meeting in Tulare that their aggressive pest-control efforts must continue, since South Korean trade protocols in place last year could largely remain the same.
At the heart of the issue is preventing the fuller rose beetle (FRB) and California red scale (CRS), as well as 22 other indigenous insects, from entering South Korea.
Growers must therefore maintain grove treatments based on University of California Integrated Pest Management (UC IPM) guidelines, he said.
While the USDA will not enforce or regulate UC IPM guidelines, Loyd said the agency would look into individual grower practices if shipments failed to meet export standards on inspection.
Loyd also encouraged grower-packers to safeguard shipments going through fruit-fly zones en-route to southern Californian ports.
“Korea is one of our bigger markets for citrus, making this an important issue to follow,” Loyd said.