Potentially Devastating Citrus Disease Found In Riverside County - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Potentially Devastating Citrus Disease Found In Riverside County

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Indio, CA -

A disease that could potentially wipe out citrus plants is now in Riverside County. 

The disease is called Huanglongbing disease, better known as, Citrus Greening Disease. Citrus farmers here in the Coachella Valley said it could be absolutely devastating for the industry if it comes here.

A local farmer, Arthur Futterman, said the bacteria can spread quickly.

"It spreads by a little bug, a little tiny bug that's an 1/8th of an inch long, that little rascal is not much bigger than a gnat," 
Robert Williams, the owner of Bob Williams Nursery in Indio, said if the disease came out to the valley, it could wipe out the industry.

"Conceivably we would have to destroy our inventory, and possibly we wouldn't be able to sell citrus for a while," Williams explained.

Futterman said infected trees may have blotchy yellow leaves, and the fruit won't ripen.
"The fruit tends to not be sweet. It tends to be really small. The color won't color up, some people say it can taste a little salty," Futterman explained.
Even small farmers like Futterman are worried it'll spread to the Coachella Valley.
"I just have a 100 trees, so to me it's disappointing and sad and some expense, but for someone who makes their living off of citrus it's devastating," he said about the potential damage.


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