After the alert of local Almond growers (as early as 2012), the presence of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa has been detected for the first time in the Alicante province in June 2017 on almond trees in El Castell de Guadalest (Comunitad Valenciana)
According to EPPO, the bacterium in this region is under eradication. After the first detection in June 2017, other six outbreaks have been reported in the near areas.
Eradication measures (in accordance with EU Implementing Decision 2015/789) were implemented with a demarcated area of 10 km radius around the infected plot and the application of insecticide treatments against vectors of X. fastidiosa. It was also prohibited to move plants out of the 7 nurseries and garden centres which are located within this demarcated area.
Due to the long incubation period of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa (in this case, subsp. Multiplex ST6) there is a ill-defined amount of time between the detectability of the bacterium (Via molecular and serological methods) inside the affected host plant and the emergence of visible signs of the plant disease. Therefore, even if declared infected by the bacterium, almond trees can still be productive, even for a certain amount of time.
Farmers organisations such as ASAJA Alicante and AXAFA consider the mandatory uproot of healthy almonds tree ineffective. According to these organisations this measures run the risk of reducing by 25% the agricultural production without any certainty of actually eradicating the bacterium. Instead they demand the end of the eradication plan (the uprooting of any tree in a 100mt radius around the xf positive detection) for a containment plan witch requires the uprooting of affected tree only) and an exhaustive monitoring program aimed at studying the diffusion of the bacterium.