Citrus greening has wreaked havoc on the citrus business in Florida, a state long associated with its prolific orange production.
Citrus greening—also called Huanglongbing or yellow dragon disease—first hit Florida in 2005, says Lukasz Stelinski, PhD, associate professor of entomology and nematology, University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. However, the disease had previously affected crops in Brazil and Asia.
The Asian citrus psyllid—a bug that can fit on your fingertip—is the vector that spreads the bacteria causing citrus greening, Stelinski says. The sugars in affected trees cannot be transported effectively, and that leads to a decline in the plant’s health.