UF Study Tallies What Lost Oranges is Costing Florida

TAMPA (2012-1-24) -

When you drive through the rural parts of Florida, you might have seen it for yourself -- dead or dying orange trees. The culprit is a bacterial disease called Citrus Greening. A new University of Florida study tallies the economic cost.

Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) or Citrus Greening disease, has been damaging to citrus production in Florida for years.

But now, the University of Florida has estimated what that disease is actually costing Florida -- $3.63 billion in revenues and 6,611 jobs since 2006.

Florida Citrus Mutual spokesman Andrew Meadows says its easy to see the damage for yourself.

You can drive through any of the citrus producing regions in Florida and see dead trees and groves that have been taken out because of HLB.

There's ongoing research about how to fight citrus greening but no cure yet. Florida is the second largest orange juice producer in the world after Brazil.

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