Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services officials said this week (January 31) that 165 trees in northern St. Lucie County commercial groves are infected with citrus canker. Department spokeswoman Liz Compton told FFVA that, as a result, at least 31,000 commercial fruit trees will have to be destroyed in the Indian River region.
In addition to the Indian River finds, canker was also discovered on three trees in the Deep Creek community, east of Port Charlotte in Southwest Florida. In mid-January inspectors also found 19 canker-positive trees in an already quarantined area in the Englewood area of Sarasota County.
USDA officials said Tuesday (February 1) that it will send 60 of its canker surveyors to Indian River and St. Lucie counties to help seek out and contain citrus canker outbreaks.
The state's four hurricanes last summer are
blamed for many of the recent outbreaks, but Compton said
that some canker may have been spread by contaminated equipment.
ALSO IN THIS WEEK'S RAP-UP