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Florida citrus growers worry that deadly bacteria will mean end of orange juice
The Washington Post ^ | 1-14-14 | Darryl Fears

Posted on 01/14/2014 2:01:44 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic

The sprawling citrus orchard that Victor Story toured recently sure looked like a steal at $11,000 an acre. The investors who owned it were going to lose money, and potential buyers such as Story might have stood to reap a handsome reward.

But as he bumped along the 40 acres of groves in a large SUV, Story was taken aback by the sickly look of the trees. Their leaves were an inch shorter than normal and yellowing. Full-size oranges were still apple green. Other mature oranges that should have been the size of baseballs were no bigger than ping-pong balls.

“That fruit’s never going to be of any value,” said Story, 68, who has been growing fruit all his life. He said his pickers wouldn’t even bother to reach for it. “It’s going to fall off the tree. It’s never going to get squeezed,” he said. “These investors paid $15,000 an acre for that grove. I know because they bought it from a friend. I frankly don’t think it will sell for $11,000.”

What Story saw in the orchard in Polk County, Fla., wasn’t an anomaly. It’s the new norm in the Sunshine State, where about half the trees in every citrus orchard are stricken with an incurable bacterial infection from China that goes by many names: huanglongbing, “yellow dragon disease” and “citrus greening.” Growers, agriculturalists and academics liken it to cancer. Roots become deformed. Fruits drop from limbs prematurely and rot. The trees slowly die.

The bacteria is spread by a tiny, invasive bug, also from China, called Asian citrus psyllid. It acquires the bacteria while feeding on the leaves of infected trees, then transmits it when feeding on healthy trees — akin to the way mosquitoes transfer malaria.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; US: California; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: bacteria; china; citrus; devastation; fl; florida; huanglongbing; orlando

1 posted on 01/14/2014 2:01:45 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

When we debarked from the plane in CA last week, I noticed a woman 2 rows in front of me carrying a couple of small plants in a plastic bag. The thought occurred to me: CA is so careful preventing fruit and plant material from other states entering on its highways, who watches the airports? I’ve never been checked for plant material when flying in.


2 posted on 01/14/2014 2:04:55 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

That’s OK

her liquids were only 3 oz


3 posted on 01/14/2014 2:15:33 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: Tennessee Nana

They’ll take an apple out of your mouth upon entering via road.


4 posted on 01/14/2014 2:17:26 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Thank Nixon.


5 posted on 01/14/2014 2:25:35 AM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Yes I know

Ive been to CA along I-40 a few times..

and on I-10 once it was like I was entering the US from Mexico..


6 posted on 01/14/2014 2:26:46 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Our early ancestors had good reasons for splitting off into tribes, it tends to isolate and contain such plagues. They were smart enough to learn from experience and history and to listen to their instincts.


7 posted on 01/14/2014 2:45:16 AM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Thank you, supporters of Free Trade with Communist China. You do not get those bugs from Disney World visitors from Hong Kong

Another end result of Free Trade


8 posted on 01/14/2014 2:53:29 AM PST by SeminoleCounty (Amnesty And Not Ending ObamaCare Will Kill GOP In 2014)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Calling all entomologists - a good insecticide is needed to kill those Chinese bugs who are destroying Florida citrus!


9 posted on 01/14/2014 3:29:48 AM PST by Ken522
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

Yeah inbreeding in small populations is wonderful /s


10 posted on 01/14/2014 3:35:29 AM PST by Kozak ("Send them back your fierce defiance! Stamp upon the cursed alliance! To arms, to arms in Dixie!)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Just wondering...what pests are we sending to China?


11 posted on 01/14/2014 3:42:51 AM PST by ken5050 (This space available cheap...)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Monoculture is bad. Citrus farmers need to rotate crops.


12 posted on 01/14/2014 3:45:36 AM PST by Organic Panic
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To: SWAMPSNIPER
Tribes? I'll take my chances with plagues over a world full of this thanks to tribal mentality:


13 posted on 01/14/2014 3:47:12 AM PST by mikey_hates_everything
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Thanks Bill Clinton.....this is your legacy.
14 posted on 01/14/2014 3:48:12 AM PST by liberalh8ter (The only difference between flash mob 'urban yutes' and U.S. politicians is the hoodies.)
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To: Ken522; Organic Panic

We do have one such insecticide , and it’s dirt cheap , DDT ... just try to get some though.


15 posted on 01/14/2014 3:53:22 AM PST by Neidermeyer (I used to be disgusted , now I try to be amused.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Has anything good ever come from China?


16 posted on 01/14/2014 3:59:02 AM PST by logic101.net (How many more children must die on the altar of "gun free zones"?)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
"incurable bacterial infection from China"

I fear this will not be the last time we hear that phrase.

17 posted on 01/14/2014 4:05:26 AM PST by Former Proud Canadian (Cruz/Palin 2016)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

There may be a GMO answer for this, but I imagine the luddite left will set up a howl, on the grounds that it is preferable to live without oranges than to unleash science.


18 posted on 01/14/2014 4:08:55 AM PST by sphinx
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To: ken5050

“Just wondering...what pests are we sending to China?”

The administration sends JFKerry over there sometimes...


19 posted on 01/14/2014 5:02:36 AM PST by Blue Collar Christian (Vote Democrat. Once you're OK with killing babies the rest is easy. <BCC><)
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To: JulieRNR21; kinganamort; katherineisgreat; floriduh voter; summer; Goldwater Girl; windchime; ...

Florida Freeper


20 posted on 01/14/2014 5:22:01 AM PST by Joe Brower (The "American People" are no longer capable of self-governance.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I remember as a kid long ago, we were crossing the Canada border. We had a bunch of peaches & tomatoes which were not allowed to cross. We were all furiously eating them as we rolled up to the border guard. He laughed. We wound up handing him a bag of delicious fruit.


21 posted on 01/14/2014 5:22:14 AM PST by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: sphinx

Careful now...FR has just as many anti-GMO nuts as any left wing site. It seems to be the only topic where DU threads are almost identical to FR threads.


22 posted on 01/14/2014 5:29:03 AM PST by Codeflier (Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama - 4 democrat presidents in a row and counting...)
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To: Arthur McGowan

“Thank Nixon.”

It is not so much about China and Nixon as it is about modern mass production of agricultural products.

Today, every orange must look the same and taste the same or the consumer won’t buy it.

That means tens of thousands of acres of identical plants.

There is always something those plants are susceptible to and when one gets sick, they all get sick.


23 posted on 01/14/2014 5:29:35 AM PST by staytrue
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Omg! Another certain calamity! Doom is upon us! Whatever will we do????

Wait ... I’m sure that the cure for this latest catastrophe is a bunch of money. Some kinda government handout or subsidy or program or something. Right?


24 posted on 01/14/2014 5:39:47 AM PST by IronJack
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I’m sure we’ll see plenty of isolationist anti-trade posts blaming interaction with China for this pest. I wonder if any of the posters realize that oranges are not native to the west, and are thought to have originated in China.


25 posted on 01/14/2014 6:10:29 AM PST by Darth Reardon (Is it any wonder I'm not the president?)
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To: Kozak
Yeah inbreeding in small populations is wonderful /s

With 340 million people in the US, I'll hazard inbreeding, thank you.

26 posted on 01/14/2014 6:16:36 AM PST by Carry_Okie (0-Care IS Medicaid; they'll pull a sheet over your head and take your home to pay for it.)
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To: mikey_hates_everything
Tribes? I'll take my chances with plagues over a world full of this thanks to tribal mentality:

The Bible was written from a tribal mentality. Name one agro-urban society on earth that lasted half as long as the Magyars, the Mongols, the Innuit, the Lapps, the Maasai, the Bushmen, the Australian Aborigines... We just got our asses kicked by tribal societies.

27 posted on 01/14/2014 6:19:52 AM PST by Carry_Okie (0-Care IS Medicaid; they'll pull a sheet over your head and take your home to pay for it.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I know that the number of juice processing plants, in the state, have been reduced, dramatically, in number, over the past few years. Complaint for many years has been, there’s not enough fruit to keep all these plants running to the max and profitable. Now this, along with greening, different viruses that have cropped up, is reducing the quantity and quality of both, the groves and the fruit. What a shame!


28 posted on 01/14/2014 6:37:50 AM PST by Bushbacker1 (Molon Labe! (Oathkeeper))
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To: staytrue
It is not so much about China and Nixon as it is about modern mass production of agricultural products.

What most folks don't know, is that the citrus industry, in Florida, is run by Brazil and Brazilians and run Brazilian concentrate, mixed with the American juice. Few citrus processors are American.

29 posted on 01/14/2014 6:42:20 AM PST by Bushbacker1 (Molon Labe! (Oathkeeper))
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To: Bushbacker1
What most folks don't know, is that the citrus industry, in Florida, is run by Brazil and Brazilians...

Is there anything Americans do any more - besides collect unemployment and welfare?

30 posted on 01/14/2014 7:30:37 AM PST by Gritty (Liberals think living your life free of welfare, EBT, and government nannies is "cheating"-J Hawkins)
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To: Mister Da

I’m sure that the border guards collect a lot of fruit. I’ve turned over a lot ,yself over the years. That is why I was surprised to see this lady carrying a live, rooted plant off the plane and nobody stopping her.


31 posted on 01/14/2014 8:27:55 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Neidermeyer

Ddt doesn’t work fpr bacteria and viruses. Farmers who fail to rotate crops will run in to disease eventually. Citrus is particularly tricky.

I am all for DDT. That stupid “silent spring” book by Rachel Carsen is directly responsoble for millions of Malaria death.


32 posted on 01/14/2014 11:48:39 AM PST by Organic Panic
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To: Organic Panic

All citrus is susceptible to this infection, so having one variety is not the issue. I don’t really understand how crops can be rotated in an orchard. Prior to this disease, citrus trees were expected to produce for a number of years!


33 posted on 01/14/2014 7:24:52 PM PST by aberaussie
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To: Organic Panic
Monoculture is bad. Citrus farmers need to rotate crops.

Not only that, but any particular variety of citrus is a cutting or a clone from a single tree. There's no genetic diversity.

34 posted on 01/14/2014 7:42:01 PM PST by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Organic Panic

Ddt doesn’t work fpr bacteria and viruses.
*****************************************
It’ll get the bugs that transmit it though...

The diseased trees would have to be destroyed.


35 posted on 01/15/2014 9:32:55 PM PST by Neidermeyer (I used to be disgusted , now I try to be amused.)
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