- Associated Press - Monday, March 3, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) - Citrus growers in Arizona are preparing for the possible outbreak of a disease that has already devastated thousands of acres of fruit trees in Florida and California.

The Arizona Republic reports (https://bit.ly/OQSMxu) that an insect known as the Asian citrus psyllid, which carries the citrus-greening disease, has been detected in western Arizona.

The disease, however, has not yet manifested.

Agriculture officials say the psyllids were discovered at the U.S.-Mexico border in a shipment of limes in June 2013 in Nogales.

The state Department of Agriculture says citrus is a $37 million industry for the state.

State and federal agriculture officials say they are finding it difficult to keep up with the insect’s growing population, which spiked in Yuma County.


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