Center To Introduce New Citrus Varieties To Florida

LACROSSE, Fla. (CBSMiami/AP) — Will Florida’s orange industry soon have some company?

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is set to open a new, 20,000-square foot facility north of Gainesville that will introduce new citrus varieties to the state.

The Florida Citrus Repository will open Monday.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says the citrus germplasm introduction program provides a way to safely introduce healthy new citrus varieties into groves.

Eventually, the program will introduce 20 new varieties each year and increase the health of Florida’s citrus industry.

Citrus is a $9 billion industry in Florida. Groves are being threatened by the deadly citrus greening disease. There is no cure for the disease.

Florida’s citrus growers have been the hardest-hit in the U.S. and researchers are working furiously to come up with a vaccine or cure.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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