The Wall Street Journal January 2, 2013 p. A3 by A. Campo-Flores
The article describes a bacterial disease known as "citrus greening" that in Florida is "ravaging the state's orange and grapefruit trees."
The disease slowly kills the trees and causes them to shed fruit prematurely.
The USDA just cut its citrus forecast because the disease is so widespread. The chief executive of Florida Citrus Mutual, an industry group, was quoted as saying "We have never seen a crop revision of this magnitude without a freeze or hurricane."
The disease is believed to have come from Asia and is spread by an insect. It is not known why it is spreading so quickly and so devastatingly this year.
Perhaps the citrus trees were weakened by the BP oil spill or other environmental hazards.
Bobby1 at Optimal Prediction has been discussing a variety of ailments afflicting flora. I recommend starting with the first post listed here:
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