'Greening' Outbreak Threatens Florida Citrus Crops

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'Greening' Outbreak Threatens Florida Citrus Crops

 
December 18, 2009 from WGCU

A century ago children looked forward to getting an orange in their Christmas stockings. It was a treat many enjoyed just once a year. After World War II, the Florida citrus industry took off, and many baby boomers grew up starting their day with a glass of orange juice.

But now citrus trees across Florida are threatened by a major outbreak known as Huanglongbing (HLB) or the "greening disease." The disease is caused by a bacteria spread by flying insects. When infected, an orange tree will produce green, unripe fruit, and eventually die.

Jim Snively is the head of grove operations for Southern Gardens Citrus, one of the nation's largest fresh orange juice producers.

In his grove near the town of LaBelle, in southwest Florida, he strolls through a row of orange trees.

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