Laurel wilt found in commercial Florida avocado grove

05/01/2012 01:22:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

redbay ambrosia beetleCourtesy Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer ServicesRedbay ambrosia beetles spread the laurel wilt fungus from diseased avocado and bay trees to healthy ones.The Univeristy of Florida and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have confirmed laurel wilt in an avocado tree in a Miami-Dade County commercial grove.

"The find of laurel wilt in a commecial avocado grove is a major concern," Agriculture Commission Adam Putnam said in a news release.

The find is located on the north edge of the Miami-Dade avocado production area.

State and federal inspectors will survey nearby properties to determine the extent of the disease infestation.

The fungal disease is spread by the redbay ambrosia beetle to members of the laurel family, which includes redbay, swamp bay and avocados.

State and federal agencies are working closely with the industry to develop best management practices to reduce the impact of the beetle/wilt complex.

The avocado industry contributed more than $13 million to the local economy, with more than 6,773 production acres in Miami-Dade County, according to the Florida Agricultural Statistics Service.

For more information on the disease complex, visit http://www.freshfromflorida.com.



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