Hass Avocados Removed as Host in Oriental Fruit Fly Quarantine
On September 27, 2023, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the California Department of Food and Agriculture established an Oriental Fruit Fly (OFF) quarantine in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, California. The OFF quarantine area includes avocado production regions.
The OFF quarantine listed Hass avocados as a host, which was inconsistent with USDA’s Mediterranean Fruit Fly and Mexican Fruit Fly host lists that do not include Hass avocados. California Avocado Commission staff immediately informed USDA of this inconsistency, which led USDA to remove Hass avocado from the host list.
On Friday, October 27, 2023, the USDA informed CAC of this correction and the removal of the previously mandatory treatment requirements for fruit on trees within the quarantine area. This correction will result in significant savings for Hass avocado growers within the quarantine area. Other avocado varieties (e.g., Bacon, Zutano, etc.) within the OFF quarantine area are still required to follow the established treatment protocols.
As with Mediterranean Fruit Fly and Mexican Fruit Fly quarantines, the harvest, shipping and packing of Hass avocados from within the OFF quarantine region must comply with approved regulatory measures. The grower requirements for Hass avocado production within the OFF quarantine zone will mirror the requirements for Mexican Fruit Fly quarantine areas (see Exhibit GA in the right-hand navigation). In addition, the requirements for packing houses receiving Hass avocados from the quarantine area(s) will mirror the Mexican Fruit Fly requirements (see Exhibit MA in the right-hand navigation).
CAC is also working with USDA to remove Hass avocados as a host for the Queensland Fruit Fly quarantine, which currently includes parts of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.
CAC will continue to work with USDA and CDFA on these fruit fly quarantines to ensure the harvest and transportation of fruit from within quarantine areas maintains the necessary safeguards to prevent the spread of the fruit fly while not creating unnecessary burdens on commercial avocado production. CAC will provide industry updates as additional information becomes available.