Florida Legislature OKs $9.5 million HLB research funding

05/03/2013 05:51:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

citrus greening-infected fruitVicky BoydCitrus greening, also known as huanglongbing, causes fruit on trees infected with the disease to be small or misshapen (top).As part of state budgeting, the Florida Legislature has approved $9.5 million in research-related activities to combat citrus greening, also known as huanglongbing or HLB.

The fund is part of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' 2013-14 budget, according to a news release.

Of that amount, $8 million will go to HLB research. The remaining $500,000 will go to related projects, such as citrus nursery certification, citrus germplasm facility and citrus pest management.

Gov. Rick Scott still must approve the budget.

Mike Sparks, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the Lakeland-based Florida Citrus Mutual, praised Rep. Ben Albritton and Sen. Alan hays for their work in helping secure the funding.

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