These are excerpts from three articles about the finding of the redbay ambrosia beetle in Miami-Dade county.
Excerpts from a 3/10/10 Miami Herald article by Nirvi Shah.
One redbay beetle was found in a trap in west-central Miami-Dade County on March 2.
But scientists say a single beetle shouldn't scare Miami-Dade growers -whose trees cover nearly 7,000 acres of South Florida - just yet.
For one thing, the beetle wasn't found in the heart of Miami-Dade's agricultural area, but in the residential Emerald Lakes neighborhood. For another, scientists are still testing the single beetle found to confirm whether it is carrying the pathogen that causes the tree-killing laurel wilt. The testing could take another two weeks.
“The University of Florida along with the state and federal governments have been working hard to find a viable solution," said Craig Wheeling, president of Brooks Tropicals. Brooks, in Homestead, is one of the largest growers, packers and shippers of Florida avocados. With all their hard work, they’ve come up with some promising ways to attack the beetle. We’re hoping for a quick solution.”
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Avocado pest spotted in Miami-Dade County
Excerpts from a 3/9/10 The Packer article by Doug Ohlemeier
Florida agriculture inspectors have discovered the carrier of an avocado tree-killing disease close to south Florida’s Miami-Dade County commercial growing region, the redbay ambrosia beetle.Authorities caution that the bug hasn’t threatened the state’s commercial avocado production, which remains “healthy,” according to a March 9 news release from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Craig Wheeling, president of Brooks Tropicals Inc., Homestead, Fla., said the industry is confident researchers will find a solution to keep the disease away from commercial groves.“The government survey teams have done a great job in finding the beetle considering they had to cover tens of thousands of acres in the tri-county area,” he said. “The University of Florida along with the state and federal governments have been working hard to find a viable solution. With all their hard work, they’ve come up with some promising ways to attack the beetle. We’re hoping for a quick cure.”
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Avocado Farmers Fear Tiny Beetle Found In S. Fla.
Excerpt from a transcript of a 3/9/10 broadcast on CBS Channel 4, Miami FL - reporter Lisa Cilli
Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson announced Tuesday that a redbay ambrosia beetle, which spreads a fungus that kills avocado trees, has been found in an insect trap in Miami-Dade County. The beetle, which transmits the fungus called laurel wilt disease, was found in the Emerald Lakes subdivision. Prior to this find, the redbay ambrosia beetle had not been found south of Martin County.In Miami-Dade, there is little Craig Wheeling can do to protect his Homestead-based business.
The CEO of Brooks Tropicals says the impending threat of laurel wilt disease bears a striking resemblance to citrus canker, which struck Florida orange and lime growers years ago, causing millions of dollars in damage. "Having gone through that mess in the early 2000s, we're very concerned when we see the redbay ambrosia beetle coming down," he said.