Citrus is a Florida staple with growers producing several types of citrus, including oranges, grapefruit and specialty fruit including Temple oranges, tangerines and tangelos.
In Florida, there are nearly 577,000 acres of citrus groves and more than 75 million citrus trees. Most citrus is grown in the southern two-thirds of the Florida peninsula. Florida is second only to Brazil in global orange juice production and remains the world's leading producer of grapefruit. Florida produces 70 percent of the United States' supply of citrus.
The total impact of citrus to Florida’s economy is approximately $9 billion a year. The citrus industry, directly and indirectly, generates roughly 76,000 full time and part time jobs.
Florida Citrus is at Risk
We need your help to prevent the spread of citrus greening disease, also known as Huanglongbing (HLB). Citrus greening disease (HLB) is one of the most severe plant diseases in the world. It can affect any variety of citrus trees. Once a tree is infected with the disease, there is no known cure. USDA works with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on these citrus saving initiatives, including the Citrus Health Response Program.
5 Things You Need to Know
- Be Aware of Quarantines. The entire state of Florida is under quarantine for citrus greening disease and Asian citrus psyllid. Citrus trees, fruit or trimmings may not move into or out of Florida without a special permit. Not only are you risking spreading citrus diseases, but it's also against the law.
- Inspect Citrus Plants Regularly for Diseases and Insects. Check plants for signs of citrus greening such as leathery-feeling leaves with yellow spots or blotches. Fruit from infected trees may be small, deformed and taste bitter. It can also retain a green color rather than ripening to the expected shades of yellow or orange. If you detect an infected plant, report it immediately.
- Keep Homegrown Citrus at Home. Help reduce the spread of citrus diseases by not moving your home-grown citrus fruit or plants.
- Check the Citrus Plant Supplier. Be a savvy buyer. Only buy citrus plants from a reputable, licensed Florida nursery. Follow instructions on the tag regarding the Asian citrus psyllid or HLB.
- Avoid Fines and Penalties. If you knowingly purchase citrus in violation of quarantine regulations and requirements, the penalties could range from $1,100 to $60,000 per violation. If you suspect citrus is being moved improperly, report your concerns to the USDA’s State Plant Health Director's office; you can find contact information online at www.aphis.usda.gov/StateOffices.
State Department of Agriculture
- Florida's Citrus Health Response Program hotline which is maintained by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: 1-800-282-5153