- Associated Press - Monday, June 16, 2014

LACROSSE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will open a new, 20,000-square foot facility north of Gainesville that will introduce new citrus varieties to the state.

The Florida Citrus Repository will open Monday.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says the citrus germplasm introduction program provides a way to safely introduce healthy new citrus varieties into groves.

Eventually, the program will introduce 20 new varieties each year and increase the health of Florida’s citrus industry.

Citrus is a $9 billion industry in Florida. Groves are being threatened by the deadly citrus greening disease. There is no cure for the disease.

Florida’s citrus growers have been the hardest-hit in the U.S. and researchers are working furiously to come up with a vaccine or cure.

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