Citrus greening, canker still major concerns - The Packer

Citrus greening, canker still major concerns

01/25/2010 11:09:00 AM
Bob Luder

Florida received a boost in 2009 when an embargo was lifted, allowing the state to ship citrus to other citrus-producing states, including California and Texas. Fruit shipping out of Florida must be disinfected, but non-commercial citrus can't leave the state. Most overseas markets remain off-limits, however.

“There are certain steps we’re taking to make sure the fruit being brought to the packing house is clean,” said Al Finch, director of marketing for Diversified Citrus Marketing, Lake Hamilton, Fla. “We’re following all protocols.”

David Mixon, senior vice president of Seald Sweet International, Vero Beach, Fla., said, “The good news is growers took a vote earlier in December and voted yes on funding — extra funding and taxation. It appears scientists have narrowed (greening) to one certain type of bacteria. The equation is being put together piece by piece, but the answer is not put together yet. We once thought canker was the end of the world, but now we can manage it. But with greening, there is no answer.”

(Note on correction: The article originally stated HLB had been detected in non-commercial trees in Arizona; the quote referrred to Asian citrus psyllid. Also, information on a 2009 decision to allow Florida citrus to other producing states has been corrected -- no  canker-infected fruit can be shipped from the state.)

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