Orchard growers in collapse as pests decimate crops in Florida

Sunday, November 1, 2015
By Paul Martin

by: L.J. Devon
NaturalNews.com
Sunday, November 01, 2015

Florida’s $1.6 billion agricultural industry is teetering on the verge of collapse. The harvesting of multiple fruits just south of Miami, in Redland, has been suspended. A 97-square mile agricultural quarantine is now in place to try and control a foreign pest that has begun to unleash its destruction.

“Everything came to a standstill,” said Victoria Barnes, just as she prepared to harvest her early season avocados. Her farmland, which lies in the quarantine zone, is under attack from the Oriental fruit fly. Since August, Barnes estimates that she’s lost around 12,000 pounds of fruit to the destructive flies. The quarantine is driving some orchards out of business. Fruit and vegetable distributor J&C Tropicals lost $1 million in sales in just five weeks. The quarantine is set to last until February 2016.

This is “probably the most devastating insect that we could have,” said Barnes. “We have over a thousand trees and since the last days of August, nothing has been picked. Nothing has gone out of this farm.”

Worst fruit fly outbreak in Florida’s history threatens entire agricultural system

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