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Environment

Another Citrus Disease Spreads in Florida

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Credit Courtesy Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

There’s yet another citrus disease out there. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released a sobering estimate for Florida’s citrus production this year. And the state is expected to produce about 8 million boxes less than last year. This is because the state’s citrus suffers from ailments like citrus greeningand citrus canker.  Now, the new disease is spreading. It’s called citrus black spot.

The fungal disease gives fruit black hard spots.

Spokesperson for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Aaron Keller said the inside of the fruit is relatively unaffected by the disease, but the outside makes it unmarketable.

He said the disease spreads through spores. State and federal partners look for citrus black spot. Quarantines are put in place for areas that either have the disease or as a protective measure.   

“In quarantined areas you have to – anytime you’re moving citrus or litter materials – you have to have tarps. You have to go from point A to point B. It has to be clearly labeled that you’re bringing fruit from a quarantined area so there are strict protocols,” he said.

The latest areas quarantined were in Hendry County in April.

Citrus black spot was first discovered in the state in Collier County in 2010. Keller said there are a total of almost 11,000 acres in Hendry, Polk, Collier and Lee Counties with citrus black spot. About 51,000 acres are quarantined.

See Data on Citrus Black Spot in Florida :

Courtesy Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

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