Insects killing SWFL orange, grapefruit trees - NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida

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Florida citrus farms are facing a serious threat from a small source and that includes the ones here in Southwest Florida.

Growers say it's spread by small insects, and it's killing orange and grapefruit trees throughout the state.

The incurable disease costs some farmers hundreds of trees, which means dollars lost for them and higher citrus prices for you.

"Once you replant a tree then you have to keep that tree alive from getting greening for the next five years before you can get any fruit on it," a farmer told us.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture cut the Florida citrus forecast by 3 percent this season -- a season which ends in a few weeks.

Farmers-are fighting back with chemicals that they say do not affect you.

But not everyone is aware of the problem.

"Our only problem is residential trees positive for greening if that bug flies from there to our grove," said the farmer.

But with growers taking more precautions, Florida is still estimated to produce more than 140 million boxes of citrus.

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Florida, United States
28.75°N 82.5°W
1
0.522
Yes
United States
39.76°N 98.5°W
2
0.350
No
North Naples, Florida, United States
26.22°N 81.79°W
1
0.329
No
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Mon 2013-Dec-16 01:00
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Original title: 
Insects killing SWFL orange, grapefruit trees - NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida
Original text (summary): 

Florida citrus farms are facing a serious threat from a small source and that includes the ones here in Southwest Florida.

Growers say it's spread by small insects, and it's killing orange and grapefruit trees throughout the state.

The incurable disease costs some farmers hundreds of trees, which means dollars lost for them and higher citrus prices for you.

"Once you replant a tree then you have to keep that tree alive from getting greening for the next five years before you can get any fruit on it," a farmer told us.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture cut the Florida citrus forecast by 3 percent this season -- a season which ends in a few weeks.

Farmers-are fighting back with chemicals that they say do not affect you.

But not everyone is aware of the problem.

"Our only problem is residential trees positive for greening if that bug flies from there to our grove," said the farmer.

But with growers taking more precautions, Florida is still estimated to produce more than 140 million boxes of citrus.

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