Florida citrus growers got some good news today (Wednesday). The state of Alabama has indicated it will continue to accept Florida-grown fruit despite a new federal quarantine of Florida citrus.
Last week the U-S Department of Agriculture said it would ban Florida from shipping fresh citrus to six citrus-producing states because of the threat of canker. Canker is a bacterial plant disease that is rampant in Florida groves. Citrus is worth an estimated nine-billion dollars to the state economy. Hendry County grower Mark Wheeler says he’s pleased Alabama will still accept Florida citrus. He says it’s not just where the fruit is sold, it’s how it’s distributed.
“If there’s large retailers in Atlanta who have distribution centers in Alabama, then that fruit can’t go to Alabama so they potentially have an issue buying it because of where are they going to store it until they can get it to the store. So it helps.”
Wheeler spoke on WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live. Ninety percent of Florida-grown oranges are used for juice so the U-S-D-A quarantine doesn’t apply to that part of the industry.
Thursday, Jun 20th
Last update08:00:00 AM EST