For the first time in years, Florida citrus growers are juiced at the prospect of getting a new defense against citrus greening, the bacterial disease slowly killing their trees, perhaps as early as spring.
The Lakeland Ledger reports that Florida citrus growers are hoping state and federal regulators will approve an emergency exemption for use of three bactericides against the deadly citrus greening disease.
The bactericides have been used successfully for decades to fight bacterial infections on pear and apple trees and other crops.
Early results from grove field trials have shown the three compounds effective in reducing levels of greening bacteria in some trees.
Florida's citrus production has experienced a decline of about 60 percent since the first case of greening was confirmed in 2005.