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USDA Promises $9M To Research Citrus-Destroying Disease

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Celestino Galindo Dominguez, 34, of Veracruz, Mexico, works at a citrus farm owned by Sorrells Brothers Inc. in the Central Florida town of Arcadia, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Celestino Galindo Dominguez, 34, of Veracruz, Mexico, works at a citrus farm owned by Sorrells Brothers Inc. in the Central Florida town of Arcadia, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A citrus-destroying disease that a University of Florida study concluded has cost the state nearly $4 billion and 6,600 jobs since 2006 is one step closer to being under control.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is promising $9 million in research money to learn how to control citrus “greening”.

The South Florida Business Journal reports the announcement was made Monday by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsac.

The greening bacteria destroys citrus fruit and is carried by an insect known as the Asian citrus psyllid. Since 2006, greening has cost the state of Florida more than $3.6 billion and 6,600 jobs, according to a University of Florida study.

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation based in Lake Alfred will lead the research, the Ledger said. The work will include a total of 40 scientists from 15 institutions.

The South Florida Business Journal contributed to this report.

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