California Agriculture Faces Threat of Fatal Citrus Disease

The disease that causes a condition called “citrus greening” has no known cure and long term affects.

The state’s second known case of the disease HLB, or Huanglongbing, surfaced last week in LA County.

The bacterial infection is carried by a tiny sap sucking insect indigenous to Asia.

California growers have been successful in avoiding outbreaks so far but an outbreak might come from a different avenue. In terms of agricultural production, LA County is not a leader in the state, but the large number of residences with citrus trees could be enough for the disease to gain a foothold.

Citrus greening prevention already gets a good amount of attention from growers as well as state and federal government to the tune of $25 million a year total.
 
Coupled with the ongoing drought and several other factors, an outbreak of HLB would only be another obstacle for the California agricultural sector to overcome.

For the full details on HLB in California, see here.

Image Credit: Flickr User mytravelphotos, https://flic.kr/p/ed5SQy via (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


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