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Yellow Shoot, Green Fruit: Citrus Greening Disease Guidance for Citrus growers in the tropics

from interviews with Tim Gast and Tim Watkins, summarized by Stacy Reader

Excerpt: Bacteria in the genus Candidatus Liberibacter have caused a decline in citrus trees around the globe. The bacteria clog the sugar transport system (phloem) of a tree, effectively destroying the tree’s ability to send synthesized starches from the leaves to the roots. The roots die without access to the simple starches that are their food. The compromised root system is then unable to supply leaves with sufficient water and nutrients. Once a tree is infected, there is no cure for the disease. However, we now have more hope that we can help trees recover from and grow out of the disease than we used to.

With multiple requests for information about widespread citrus decline, we decided to learn more about its potential cause and practical management tools. We interviewed Tim Gast, Citrus Production Manager at the University of Florida’s Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, and Tim Watkins, Head of Agricultural Operations at ECHO Florida’s Global Farm.

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