USDA launches Save Our Citrus iPhone app to help identify four leading citrus diseases--citrus greening, citrus canker, citrus black spot, sweet orange scab--by allowing growers to report symptoms, upload photo, receive response from citrus experts

WASHINGTON , April 16, 2012 (press release) – Does your citrus tree have spotted leaves or fruit with brown raised spots or small lopsided fruit? Good news, USDA released a free Save Our Citrus iPhone app that makes it easy to identify and report the four leading citrus diseases: citrus greening, citrus canker, citrus black spot and sweet orange scab.

In just a few steps, the Save Our Citrus app, available in English and Spanish, allows you to report the symptoms, upload a photo and receive an individual response back from citrus experts.

The new mobile app will ask questions to help identify and report citrus diseases.

Today, one or more of these diseases threatens every acre of citrus in America, from Florida to California. In 2012, states impacted by one or more of these diseases include California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Hawaii. Beyond the 50 states, the threat to fruits also extends to several American territories, including Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

With the rapid spread of citrus diseases, USDA realized the need to engage residential citrus growers and request their help to keep an eye out for citrus diseases in backyards, orchards, groves and everywhere the diseases pose a threat. Residents are the first line of defense in stopping the devastation caused by citrus diseases.

Under USDA’s Blueprint for Stronger Service, APHIS has announced several program improvements. Investing in technology, such as the Save Our Citrus app, has allowed APHIS to modernize and improve its customer service and make better use of available resources. Improvements to technology and customer service will help to create more timely, predictable and higher-quality products.

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