2 incurable citrus diseases spreading in La

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A plant scientist says two incurable citrus diseases are spreading in Louisiana, but so far neither has been found in commercial orchards.

Citrus greening turns fruit bitter. Citrus canker leaves fruit spotted but still edible.

LSU AgCenter’s Plant Diagnostic Center chief Raj Singh says citrus canker was found last month in St. Bernard Parish. It was found last year in Plaquemines Parish — Louisiana’s citrus center — and in New Orleans and Jefferson and St. Charles parishes.

He says greening has been found in New Orleans and in Washington Parish.

Plaquemines Parish grower Ben Becnel Jr. says that with 5,000 trees, there’s no way to check each one regularly. He says he keeps an eye out while working in the orchards.

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