Navigation Links
Invaders could devastate Florida avocado industry
Date:9/21/2010

HOMESTEAD, FLFlorida's lucrative avocado industry could face a serious blow from a duo of deadly new invaders. Together, the invasive fungus called "laurel wilt disease" and the redbay ambrosia beetle, which carries laurel wilt, represent a significant economic threat to the industry. According to a report published in HortTechnology, direct losses from the invasion could range from $183 million to a remarkable high of $356 million. "The impact on the local economy would be catastrophic", noted Dr. Edward A. Evans of the University of Florida's Tropical Research and Education Center, one of the authors of the study.

Avocados are Florida's second-largest fruit industry (after citrus). The industry brings in substantial revenue to the state, resulting in an overall economic impact of about $54 million a year. More than 98% of 7,400 acres of commercial avocado orchards are located in southwestern MiamiDade County. Most growers depend on proceeds from the sale of avocado to supplement their income, while many packing houses depend almost exclusively on the crop to sustain their operations. Avocado orchards also offer a variety of nonfood benefits, including the retention of open space, landscaping, well-field recharge, and wildlife habitats.

In 2002, the redbay ambrosia beetle, along with its fungal symbiont, the laurel wilt pathogen, was introduced in Georgia on contaminated wood packing material. In 2005, humans spread the pest into northern Florida, and by 2007, laurel wilt had invaded central Florida, where the first avocado tree known to succumb to the pest was identified in Jacksonville. There are currently no registered fungicides that control laurel wilt in avocado. While chemical and/or biological control of the disease might be a possibility, little research currently exists that indicates methods for implementing disease prevention.

The scientists investigating the regional impacts of laurel wilt emphasized the critical need for quick action to address this rapidly moving disease. "The results of our investigation indicate that the direct loss to the industry in terms of lost sales, property damage, and increased management costs could range from $356 million in a do-nothing situation to about $183 million if damage control measure were 50% effective", stated Dr. Jonathan Crane, who headed the research effort. Crane added that this estimate could be considered conservative, since the study did not include the economic impact on noncommercial production, residential infestations, avocado or forest trees, scenic beauty, wildlife, or the loss of canopy cover.

The report concluded with recommendations to implement policies and ramp up research efforts aimed at decelerating the spread of the disease and developing effective treatments to preserve the important Florida avocado industry.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Visualizing viruses: new research pinpoints tiny invaders
2. Will Europe at last unite to combat thousands of alien invaders?
3. Food security for leaf-cutting ants: Workers and their fungus garden reject endophyte invaders
4. A scientific breakthrough could be the first step in a better treatment for leukemia patients
5. Chocolate farmers could benefit from newly sequenced cacao genome
6. Eating broccoli could guard against arthritis
7. New artificial skin could make prosthetic limbs and robots more sensitive
8. Texas A&M chemical engineers work could lead to improved DNA analysis
9. Cockroach brains could be rich stores of new antibiotics
10. Transition metal catalysts could be key to origin of life, scientists report
11. Problem of fake medicines in developing countries could be solved
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/12/2016)... DALLAS , May 12, 2016 ... has just published the overview results from the Q1 ... of the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a ... wearables data with a health insurance company. ... choose to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO ...
(Date:5/3/2016)...  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric identification ... Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system for ... can process multiple complex biometric transactions with high ... face or iris biometrics. It leverages the core ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used in ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 First quarter ... (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was ... (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 ... 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... mission to bring innovative medical technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare market. ... and implementation of various distribution, manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are necessary ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , ... industrial engineering, was today awarded as one of ... of the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks ... for the real world in the nutrition, health ... work directly with customers including Fortune 500 companies ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers ... 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional ... spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... UAS ... the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, ... proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes ...
Breaking Biology Technology: