The first cases of plants with HLB disease have been confirmed in Uruguay, according to a health emergency note released by the country’s Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries.
Plants with symptoms were found in a residence in the city of Bella Unión. After laboratory analysis, the presence of the disease was confirmed. Inspections were carried out in the homes and surroundings where the outbreak was identified, and no new positive cases were detected.
As a result, measures were adopted to prevent the spread of the disease. Measures included constant monitoring of homes and farms with citrus plants and following an action plan developed over 10 years ago. The action plan between public and private institutions is for the management and control of HLB.
The citrus sector represents a very important social and economic asset for Uruguay, generating around 17,000 direct and indirect jobs and exporting more than $8 million worth of products annually.
HLB is considered the most destructive disease of citrus and has no cure, causing significant economic losses in citrus production. For this reason, the country reinforces prevention measures to prevent the disease from causing major damage to citrus farms.
In nearby Brazil’s citrus belt, the average incidence of HLB rose from 22.37% in 2021 to 24.42% in 2022, an annual survey by Fundecitrus showed. That’s an increase of 9.16%. In the regions of Brotas, Limeira and Porto Ferreira in Brazil, where the incidence was already high in previous years, HLB increased to even more worrying levels of 49.41%, 70.72% and 74.05%, respectively. HLB is also commonly called citrus greening disease.
In the United States, Florida has been hardest hit by the HLB discovered in the state in 2005. Production has plunged to a fraction of pre-HLB levels, and the amount of Florida acreage in citrus production has dropped dramatically.
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