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New chemical treatment could help prevent citrus greening in Florida


Florida citrus is a $10.9 billion per year industry. Citrus greening disease has cost the state $3.6 billion in economic damage since it was first discovered in 2005, and researchers project that more than 80% of citrus trees in Florida are infected by the bacterium that causes citrus greening.


A University of Florida scientist developed a new chemical treatment, a bactericide called oxytetracycline, that can be injected into the trunks of infected trees. This technique is more targeted than other control options, is not degraded by light or rainfall, reaches both the leaves and root system of infected trees, and lasts for up to nine months.


This means trees only need to be injected once each year, making it a cost-effective control option for citrus growers battling the widespread disease.