Citrus Canker is a contagious bacterial disease that poses no threat to humans – but seriously diminishes trees’ fruit production.
Citrus is the sunshine state’s second biggest industry, behind tourism – generating more than 9-Billion dollars a year.
Mark Fagan with the state’s Citrus Canker Eradication Program says hurricane Wilma spread the disease to such an extent eradication is out of the question.
“It was determined that it could affect anywhere from 180 to 220 thousand acres of citrus. So as a result the USDA determined that the eradication of citrus canker just simply was not feasible anymore.”
The state’s eradication program HAD called for the destruction of ALL trees within 19-hundred feet of an infected tree.
Fagan says that’s no longer the plan – but that INFECTED trees will still be destroyed, just not potentially EXPOSED trees.
There are somewhere between 6 and 7-hundred thousand acres of citrus in Florida. If the 19-hundred foot rule continued to be used, it would have meant destroying nearly a third of the state’s total crop.
Thursday, 12 January 2006 00:00
Citrus CankerWritten by Mike Kiniry