Greening Confirmed in Hardee County FL

Gary Cooper Citrus, Florida, International

Florida Citrus Mutual confirms the first discovery of citrus greening disease in Hardee County, just inside the county line. Here’s the text of the release:
Citrus Greening Disease Spreads to Hardee County
LAKELAND, Fla. (July 18, 2007) – Citrus greening has been confirmed for the first time in Hardee County, one of Florida’s largest citrus producing counties.
The disease, also known as huanglongbing, was found in a commercial grove just north of the DeSoto County line.
Hardee County is home to more than 45,000 acres of citrus making it the sixth largest citrus producing county in Florida, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
“Growers are doing all they can to manage this disease but the key to beating it once and for all is research,” said Michael W. Sparks, executive vice president/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “We’re moving in that direction but we must continue. I’m confident we can beat this disease through aggressive and well-funded research coupled with best management practices at the grove level.”
Citrus greening is a bacterial disease that reduces production and can kill trees. It has significantly reduced citrus production in Asia, Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Brazil. The disease specifically attacks citrus plants and presents no threat to humans or animals.
Citrus greening is primarily spread by the Asian citrus psyllid.
Florida Citrus Mutual and other industry groups are working to secure state and federal dollars to fund greening research. So far, nearly $8 million has been secured and the industry is hopeful to supplement that amount with an additional $4 million in federal appropriations.
For more information on citrus greening visit
Florida Citrus Mutual, founded in 1948 and based in Lakeland, is the state’s largest citrus growers organization with nearly 10,000 members. The Florida citrus industry employs 90,000 and has a $9 billion economic impact. Please visit Contact: Andrew Meadows at (863) 682-1111 or (cell)(863) 944-4924