News Release: US Senate
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Federal lawmakers today gave $125 million to scientists and others seeking a cure to the deadly citrus disease that’s wiping out Florida orange trees.
No one is happier than Florida native Bill Nelson, the state’s senior U.S. senator widely credited with leading the effort to fund research of so-called citrus-greening.
“This is a huge win for Florida’s economy,” Nelson said.
According to published accounts, the Sunshine State’s citrus industry amounts to roughly $9 billion a year.
The deadly citrus disease has been blamed for killing crops not only in Florida, but also California, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia and South Carolina.
According to a study done last year by the University of Florida, citrus greening already has cost the state’s economy $4.5 billion and 8,000 jobs between 2006 and 2012.
The $125 million is included in the broader farm bill Congress approved today. It comes on top of roughly $20 million Nelson had recently helped secure to combat citrus greening.