While the spread of HLB in the Valley increases the threat to commercial citrus production, officials say they don't expect the same devastating tragedy suffered by Florida growers in the late 1990s and early years of the new century. But the disease has spread since then, now confirmed in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas and California. In addition, the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) has been detected in New Mexico and Arizona.

HLB can also be found in Mexico and other Latin America countries.

"This disease poses a real threat to the citrus industry in Texas but industry efforts so far have been very good, and local, state and federal officials are responding well to the risks, so if we can get the average homeowner to know and understand the importance of controlling the psyllid that spreads the disease, then we believe the problem can be controlled effectively," Villanueva said.

The recently farm bill allocates funds for the continued research into citrus greening disease and Valley officials say that could be a major boost in helping to discover new ways and new technologies to fight the disease.


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