State Lawmakers Provide Funding for Citrus Greening Issue
State lawmakers have decided to help research a major issue in Florida’s citrus industry.
A House subcommittee will provide funding to the $9 billion industry to research citrus greening, a disease that affects citrus trees in Florida.
Peter Spyke, a citrus grower who owns Marion County’s largest citrus farm, said he thinks the bugs carrying the disease might have made its way to every Florida citrus farm.
The disease spreads through small bugs called psyllids that travel from one tree to the next. The disease affects the tree roots, causing less fruit to grow over time.
“It’s not a question of whether or not you have it in your grove — you do,” Spyke said. “So every grower is on this nutritional program now and it seems to be working fairly well.”
Growers spray citrus trees with nutrients to help the disease-affected trees.
“It doubled the cost of growing fruit so it is expensive,” he said.
Spyke said he hopes lawmakers are able to provide funding for more research into citrus greening to help growers address the issue.
“There’s not a question of whether or not we’re going to keep going,” he said. “We’re always going to have people that want the Florida citrus or the juice.”
More Stories in Florida
Florida fisherman are concerned with the growing taste for imported fish. As imports from other countries increase, questions of ethics and safety are floating to the surface.
Protesters voiced their opposition to the proposed bear hunt on Monday outside of the Ocala office for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. The FWC is expected to vote on the issue Wednesday.
Red snapper season was divided on June 1 into two recreational sectors: federal for-hire charter captains and private recreational fishermen. The season for recreational fisherman will be limited to 10 consecutive days, ending at 12:01 a.m. on June 11.
Florida legislators began a special session Monday to pass a budget for the year beginning July 1. But the House and Senate are still in a stalemate over whether to adopt a Senate proposal use Medicaid expansion money from the Affordable Care Act to help lower-income Floridians purchase private health insurance.
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday the parents of University of Central Florida football player, Ereck Plancher, are limited to collecting $200,000 in a lawsuit they filed against UCF Athletics Association, Inc. Plancher collapsed and died in March 2008 after off-season football drills supervised by football coach George O’Leary.