Environment: The Orange Flames of Florida

Racing to save the citrus industry from a deadly canker

Like Job, the long-suffering citrus farmers of Florida have cause to wonder why they are being punished. At Christmas time last year a harsh freeze wiped out 10 million trees statewide. This spring the notorious Medfly appeared in Dade County and began devouring fruit. Now, with the wholesale price of orange juice already 27% higher than last year, the worst yet has come. Last week scientists confirmed that a deadly new strain of citrus canker, a bacterial disease that is harmless to humans but defoliates and kills trees, has swept from Ward's...

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