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Florida’s citrus industry marred by incurable disease

Citrus Fruit
Oranges ripen in a grove in Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, in Plant City, Fla. The citrus contributes $1.5 billion to the Florida economy. Growers are worried about citrus greening, a condition where an insect causes bacteria to grow on the leaf and fruit, eventually killing the tree. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

This is expected to be one of the worst years ever for Florida’s citrus crops due to an incurable disease.

The USDA predicts that state will produce less than 45 million boxes of oranges, grapefruits, tangerines and tangelos this year due to the ravages of citrus greening.

That would be fewest number of boxes produced in 80 years.


Citrus greening prevents the tree from absorbing nutrients, ultimately yielding fewer and smaller fruit over time and impairing the tree’s ability to properly mature.

Once a tree is infected, there is no cure.