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Florida is ordered to pay $1.2 million for destroying grower’s citrus trees

An Orlando jury awarded a commercial nursery owner $1.2 million for damages ordered by the Florida Department of Agriculture in an early, failed attempt to stop citrus greening.

The owner of Pokey’s Lake Gem Citrus Nursery in Zellwood lost more than 160,000 citrus trees after the Agriculture Department ordered them destroyed in the early 2000s, Yahoo News and AP report.

This precedent-setting case could prove trouble for the Citrus Research and Development Foundation, which has been accused of dragging its feet, wasting taxpayer and growers’ money, costing precious time, and at times showing no strategy in the fight against citrus greening.

CRDF has also refused to fund testing of promising potential solutions – some off-the-shelf and inexpensive – even though growers attested to the visibly improved health of their trees and fruits.