The Citrus Growers Association recently reported that for the first time in eight years there have been no citrus black spot (CBS) interceptions reported this far into the season. According to Justin Chadwick, CEO of South Africa’s Citrus Growers Association, there have been a few rumours, but no official interceptions to date. “We are not out of danger yet, as it is normally the Valencias which pose the biggest risk of CBS interception and we are only half way through the season.”
Climatic conditions in the northern part of the country were very dry and hot. During the period where you would usually get citrus black spot inoculation there were no spores around. In the Eastern Cape, where over 30% of South Africa’s citrus is produced, they did have rain and a climate which might have resulted in CBS. It is a combination of good climate and really good management practices and work by the Department of Agriculture. In addition, there is such a high level of awareness within the industry.