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Infestation concerns grow at abandoned citrus groves

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In the face of a huanglongbing outbreak, growers are being required to monitor groves for pests, even if they've abandoned them because of the high cost of irrigation, say agricultural officials.

Farmers in Northern San Diego County have reportedly been shutting down orchards in the Valley Center area because of rising water costs. Some trees, however, have survived on rainfall, and officials do not want them to become pest infested.

Sometimes called "citrus greening," huanglongbing disease -- an incurable citrus massacring contagion spread via the Asian Citrus Psyllid-- was discovered last week in Hacienda Heights prompting 93-square mile quarantine in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The county's agriculture department is preparing a letter to growers reminding them of their responsibility, reports the North County Times. The outbreak threatens to decimate the state's $2 billion citrus industry.

 

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With contributions by AP

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