florida-agriculture.com

Agriculture Press Release

March 12, 1999

Crawford Lauds Congress, Administration For Canker Aid

TALLAHASSEE Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford today expressed thanks to the Florida congressional delegation and the Clinton administration for providing $25 million to combat citrus canker in Florida.

"I want to personally thank our entire congressional delegation, and especially Appropriations Chairman Bill Young, for their tireless efforts in getting this funding," Crawford said. "And Im very pleased that the administration has recognized this vital need."

Earlier today in Miami, Vice President Al Gore announced that Florida will be receiving $20.7 million to hire surveyors and crews to locate and remove canker-infected trees. Federal agriculture officials who are assisting in the program will receive the remaining $4.3 million to help in the effort.

Todays announcement of the federal aid comes in response to a letter signed by the entire Florida congressional delegation asking for immediate federal aid to combat the outbreak.

Crawford is also seeking between $20 million and $25 million from the Florida Legislature to eradicate the outbreak.

Citrus canker is a bacterial disease that causes premature fruit drop, and, if left unchecked, could devastate Floridas $10 billion citrus industry. Infected trees must be cut down and burned.

The outbreak began four years ago near Miami International Airport, apparently brought in by an international traveler or in an international shipment.

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For more information:

Terence McElroy
(850) 488-3022


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