A breakthrough appears to be saving Florida’s citrus and the growers making their living off of it.
CBS 12 reports The Pagoda Grove farm in Hobe Sound is the only local farm to use the NutriSmart system but officials say it could soon have an impact across the country. Tommy Lee, owner of Pagoda Grove farm in Martin County, says his citrus groves are very green and have fruit ripe to pluck. However, it wasn’t like that just one year ago when his trees were suffering from the virus known as Citrus Greening.
According to the University of Florida, Citrus Greening has caused the loss of billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of acres of citrus throughout the state since 2006.
Experts believe one cause of the virus is chemicals used during farming.
Last year, Frank Dean, a chemist with the company LidoChem, gave Lee their product NutriSmart. Dean has spent the last 15 years designing the product to help growth without the dangerous chemicals.
Dr. Julie Bjornson says chemicals from farms often end up in food and runoff into the water supply and that can damage a developing brain.
Officials say they plan to check the crops one year from now to see how they’re doing on the treatment.