The focus of the commercial Louisiana citrus industry is primarily on small-scale production of satsumas (375 acres), navel oranges (418 acres), and other assorted citrus (48 acres) for local markets. However, backyard citrus continues to be an equally significant portion of the Louisiana citrus industry. Additionally, we have a small citrus nursery industry located primarily in Plaquemines Parish that supplies plant materials to commercial growers and homeowners throughout the Gulf Coast region from Louisiana to Alabama.
The Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter Botanic Gardens in Baton Rouge maintains the foundation collection of six important Satsuma varieties and other citrus widely grown in Louisiana & maintained in relative isolation from other citrus.
This resource is maintained in relative isolation from other citrus and is screened every year for the presence of citrus greening, citrus canker and Citrus tristeza virus with the funding from Citrus Clean Plant Network. Foundation material are tested twice a year for pathogens. Emphasis is given to testing species of Candidatus Liberibacter causing Huanglongbing. Disease testing of foundation trees is performed at the LSU AgCenter Citrus Center. In addition, education material about important citrus diseases is delivered to its stakeholders through extension outreach programs.
Aim of the program is to maintain disease free foundation stock in Louisiana for future growers needs. These trees have gone through disease screening program at the Citrus Clonal Program, Riverside, CA and are prepared to serve as a source of clean budwood for future grower needs.