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US (FL): Laurel wilt in commercial avocado groveThere are concerns over a plant pest in Florida. Laurel wilt, spread by the Redbay Ambrosia beetle, has been discovered in an avocado grove in Miami-Dade.
Plant experts have been monitoring the presence of the disease in the state for some time, but this is the first time it has struck at a commercial operation.
The state says avocados are a $13 million a year business in Miami-Dade, with more than 6700 acres of commercial groves.
It is essential that the disease is checked early on before it has chance to decimate the industry.
many people, especially in domestic gardens, have replaced citrus trees, struck by canker, with avocados.
The disease has already damaged many trees in North Florida and appears to be spreading down the peninsula.
Beyond reporting problems with avocado trees, not purchasing possibly infested firewood from outside the area, and not buying new trees from unregistered nurseries, the state and agriculture groups are trying to work out an attack plan to stop the spread of the disease.
Publication date: 5/3/2012
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