U.S. Congress directs funding to fight HLB

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U.S. Congress directs funding to fight HLB

The U.S. Congress approved US$20 million in funding Monday to fight the devastating citrus disease Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening.oranges_68643514

The grant comes in part of the 2014 Fiscal Year Omnibus Spending and seeks to pull the breaks on the disease that has already created an estimated US$4.6 billion in grower costs in the Florida industry.

Although the disease has only been detected once in California, the California Citrus Mutual welcomed the funding as a much needed preventative measure.

"HLB is a death sentence for all U.S. citrus. California citrus growers have spent in excess of $70 million over the course of 4 years to protect the industry from this devastating disease. This $20 million appropriation demonstrates that this issue is of high priority for the Appropriations Committee and members of Congress," the California Citrus Mutual said.

The funding comes shortly after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced in December that it would be forming a multi-agency task force to align HLB research, share information and develop more effective prevention strategies. The initiative is supported by initial funding of US$1 million.

Photo: www.shutterstock.com



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