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Subject: Citrus canker on northward expansion in Florida
Date posted: October 17, 2001
Source: ProMed Mail, Associated Press
Numerous trees within a 200-acre commercial grove of Valencia oranges east of Arcadia, about 65 miles south of St. Petersburg, were found to be infected with citrus canker. It is suspected that the disease was spread by workers or equipment that hadn't been properly disinfected. Seeing the disease move northward into the citrus-growing regions of the state is disconcerting to growers who had believed it to be restricted to south Florida. Furthermore, the growing season for oranges starts in about a month and lasts through June.
Citrus canker causes blemishes on fruit and leaves, as well as premature fruit drop, thereby threatening Florida's $8 billion citrus industry . Infected trees are being destroyed in an effort to prevent further spread of the disease. Growers and agriculture officials have been battling the canker in south Florida counties for several years. Almost 2 million trees have been destroyed in the process.
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