WUFT News

Saving Florida Orange Juice: The Search For A Cure For Citrus Greening – The Greening Series, Part 3

By on August 22nd, 2014
Dr. Evan Johnson, research scientist in plant pathology, explains the signs and symptoms of citrus greening, or HLB (huanglongbing),  at University of Florida's Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida.

Dr. Evan Johnson, research scientist in plant pathology, explains the signs and symptoms of citrus greening, or HLB (huanglongbing), at University of Florida's Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida.

Nutrient supplements, root stock additives, genetic modification, heat therapies and a bacterial killer are just a few of the proposed solutions to what has been called the worst disease in history to hit Florida orange groves. Citrus greening, a bacterial disease that prevents nutrients from being absorbed by a tree, is killing off the Florida orange tree, and with it, the Florida orange juice industry which supplies 80 percent of the U.S. market.

Many are working to find a cure, like Dr. Reza Ehsani, University of Florida research scientist, who is using unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, to diagnose areas of citrus greening in groves across the United States. One of the newest solutions from the University of Florida suggests the protein that spreads citrus greening in a tree can be killed with a biochemical spray. All proposed solutions require years long field testing and approval before any cure is brought to the grower on the grove.

Florida citrus now has over $125 million from federal and state money to help pay for the research to find a cure, said Mike Sparks, President of Florida Citrus Mutual.  The grower community he supports will not let the industry fail, said Sparks.

Florida’s 2013-2014 citrus harvesting season closed with many growers losing 30 percent in production, in addition to losses of 20 to 30 percent in years before from greening.

While the industry that defines Florida makes its way toward a recovery with millions in new research money and political support, delivering a cure to the grower takes time, at a time when growers continue to absorb production losses.


This entry was posted in Environment and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://darkmattersalot.com/ ChemE Stewart

    It’s electromagnetic radiation from 3G/4G cell towers. Cook the tree, give off fumes, attract bugs. Research @ darkmattersalot

  • kyle

    so how’s the UAV thing doing – would love to see it point where the problem is -

    • Cheryl

      saw that drone on TV awhile back. There should be a separate news for it at wuft.org – on the progress of using drones on citrus greening.

  • Richard Eckstein

    Hello I have a cure for citrus greening And the cure is FREE .
    so if you will like to see the cure Contact me through my website freefertilizer.com
    Think green go Organic. Share the knowledge.
    Thanks.

 

More Stories in Environment

This octagon-based receptacle, which looks as if its been opened, sits in front of Dragonfly Sushi in downtown Gainesville. Morgan Kalish, a downtown worker, smokes a cigarette as he walks by it on Monday morning.

Cigarette Receptacles Making Impact Downtown

The local Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is seeing success after the installation of more than two dozen cigarette receptacles in the downtown area. The program hopes to expand into midtown, despite vandalization by the homeless.


Skeletonization of a Gainesville air potato leaf shows why the air potato beetle is considered one of the most successful biocontrol approaches in recent decades compared to other projects — current or past.

Plant-Eating Beetle: Cheapest Way To Kill Weeds

The FWC has seen recent success in controlling invasive plants that overrun Florida with the use of air potato beetles, and other beetle species.


Cedar Key School’s Future Farmers Of America Chapter Fights Local Hunger

Students from Cedar Key School, a public K-12 school, vow to fight hunger in Levy County by cultivating land at the school to provide fresh, healthy food. The school donated 7,000 pounds of fresh food to the Cedar Key United Methodist Church Food Pantry.


The town’s water tank lies behind a barbed chain link fence in the forest, across from Otter Creek Baptist Church. When the water is stored, the contaminants accumulate because it sits in the pipes and doesn’t circulate.

Water Contamination Problems Persist In Otter Creek

Otter Creek’s search to buy land acquisition with a source of clean water may lead to an end to the town’s ongoing water-contamination issues.


Withlacoochee River and Dunnellon Trail Bridge.

Long-Awaited Dunnellon Blue Run Trail Extension Under Construction

Dunnellon is using funds from a Florida Department of Environmental Protection grant to finish a section of path that connects the Dunnellon and Blue Run trails. The trail will now fully support hiking, jogging, biking and rollerblading after its expected completion in December.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments