- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

RANCHO VIEJO, Texas (AP) - Officials say traces of a citrus disease have been confirmed in South Texas nearly 70 years after it was eradicated.

The Brownsville Herald (https://bit.ly/1RUBitX ) reports citrus canker, a bacterial disease destructive to citrus crops, was discovered on a lime tree at a Rancho Viejo residence on Oct. 16. Officials say the disease can be spread by high winds and rain and causes deformed, inedible fruit.

Yindra Dixon of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said on Oct. 23 that the disease was confirmed after a sample of the tree had been sent for testing.

According to Dixon, the disease what introduced to the southern United States in the last century and was eradicated in Texas in the late 1940s.

Dixon says a one-mile radius has been established from the infected area, where about 40 surveyors have been inspecting as many citrus trees as possible since last week.

According to George Nash, who is leading the inspection, only five of 22 samples analyzed have tested positive for the disease. He says all the positive samples have come from lime trees. Nash says he hopes the citrus canker found in Rancho Viejo is the lime-specific “W” strain, rather than the “A” canker strain, which he says attacks virtually all types of citrus.

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Information from: The Brownsville Herald, https://www.brownsvilleherald.com

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