Science News

Can Florida’s Iconic Citrus Industry Survive Its Own Pandemic?


In 1998 an Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) showed up in Florida and caused concern because the insect was known to vector HLB disease while feeding on citrus trees’ sap.  In 2005 the first diseased orange trees were found with bitter, green, inedible fruit.  Now the USDA projects that Florida’s orange crop will be down to 44.5 million 90-pound boxes – only 18% of the crop seen in 2004 – before the HLB era.