- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Federal authorities are sending more money to help fight the citrus greening disease that is threatening Florida’s citrus industry.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday said his agency was offering $23 million for further research on greening. He made the announcement during a visit to an Orlando market that sells a wide range of fresh produce.

The funding offer comes on top of another $23 million that was promised to research universities during the last fiscal year.

Citrus greening causes fruit to drop and weakens the health of citrus trees. The disease has caused Florida orange production to drop by more than half in the past decade. Most of Florida’s oranges are used for juice.

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