26/06/2017 | Ingles

US: Citrus greening spreads to Alabama

A highly contagious bacterial disease that seriously threatens the U.S. citrus industry has been found for the first time in Alabama.

Federal and state plant officials confirm that citrus greening was found in leaf and insect samples at a home on Dauphin Island, according to a news release Tuesday from the state Department of Agriculture and Industries.

Due to the severity, officials have been checking regularly for the bacteria, which has devastated the crop in neighboring Florida over the past decade, where a study by the University of Florida's Institute of FOod and Agricultural Sciences Extension, found that since the first detection of citrus greening in Florida in 2005, orange acreage has been reduced by 26% and yield has decreased by 42%. 

Alabama authorities say a survey beginning July 26 will check whether the disease, also called huanglongbing, has spread past the one yard.

"If the disease is limited to only a few trees, steps will be taken to eradicate the disease," the statement said.

Federal officials have begun to quarantine Mobile County, stopping any citrus plants from being moved out of the county. Alabama agricultural officials have indicated they'll do the same thing.

That means the quarantine will affect only counties where the disease is present rather than the whole state, the statement said.

source: usnews.com