Citrus Greening

Britt Reints via Flickr Creative Commons

Overcoming the bacterial disease, citrus greening, remains the citrus industry’s most pressing challenge, but there’s growing optimism among growers in Southwest Florida.  That was the main message from the Gulf Citrus Growers Association’s 29th annual meeting in Immokalee June 3.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering $23 million dollars in grant funding to combat citrus greening. The entire state of Florida is in a quarantine for the disease that causes trees to produce bitter fruit and eventually die.

Citrus greening, which has laid waste to vast swaths of Florida's famed orange groves, has definitely gotten the attention of the federal government.

Monday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced he was allocating $30 million for 22 projects to help citrus producers combat citrus greening. It's considered one of the most serious citrus plant diseases in the world. It's also known as Huanglongbing, or yellow dragon disease. Once a tree is infected, there is no cure.

Ikiwaner via Wikimedia Creative Commons

Hundreds of researchers from across the globe are in Orlando this week to talk about one thing, citrus greening. It's a disease that's devastating Florida's $9 billion iconic crop and threatening citrus worldwide. Some of the most promising research comes from tiny Lake Alfred, Florida, the global front line in the fight against greening.

University of Florida

Citrus producers might have another tool for their fight against citrus greening.