Want to Ship Peaches to Texas?

Consider the Peach Caribfly Protocol Program

d2579-9The Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa (Lowe), is a serious pest of many tropical and sub-tropical fruits of Central and South Florida. Since the 1965 introduction in the Miami area, this pest has caused concern for many Florida growers and consumers throughout the world. Due to the need to protect other areas of the world against this pest, rigid agricultural quarantines have been established to prevent the movement of Caribbean fruit fly infested material.

Growers may be familiar with Florida’s Caribfly Protocol Program for citrus. The long-standing success of the citrus program allowed for the development of the peach protocol. Peach is a preferred host of the Caribfly, making the requirements more stringent than they are for citrus.

Recently, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry (FDACS DPI) expanded the Caribbean fruit fly (Caribfly) certification protocol to allow peach growers to ship their product to Texas. Until now, only post harvest treatments of irradiation or cold treatments were available to Florida growers shipping to Texas.

This new certification program for peach shipments is based on Texas import regulations. Details about the Texas protocol can be found on www.FreshFromFlorida.com/Texas-Peach-Caribfly-Protocol-2014.

Current procedures for certifying peaches require that:

  • Peaches must originate from Caribfly-controlled areas
  • Peaches harvested from these areas are certified using a combination of survey, trapping and spray applications
  • And, field activities are followed up by inspections and compliance reviews in the packinghouse

The flow chart below outlines the steps involved in certifying fruit for shipping. Florida’s Peach Caribfly Protocol Program is in its first year and already includes over 600 acres, or approximately half of the state’s peach groves.

If you are a peach grower, harvester or packinghouse interested in participating in the program, please contact the FDACS DPI Caribfly protocol office at (772) 468-4092.

CREDIT

text by DENISE FEIBER, APR, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

photo by STEPHEN AUSMUS