Fly shuts down $700M industry: Invasive Fly Florida
Published: September 24, 2015
Fly shuts down $700M industry: Invasive Fly Florida, A species of fly has infested Florida crops, threatening to cost the state hundreds of millions in fruit market revenue, according to SportAct. The Oriental fruit fly, native to Asia, works by burrowing its way into various types of fruit, laying eggs and ruining crops.
So far, Florida’s agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam has quarantined 85 square miles of farmland infected by the wave of burrowing pesks, according to Newsweek.
Locally, market owners are feeling the strain, as their supply of fresh fruit and vegetables have dwindled amid the epic loss, according to the Inquisitr.
“It’s usually full…especially at this time of year, because we do truckloads of mamey and avocado and passion fruit and dragon fruit,” said market manager Salvador Fernandez.
Fernandez has said that more than 20 million pounds of fruit, including dragon fruit and mamey, have gone to waste.
If the insect invasion isn’t stopped, growers and produce sellers could find themselves in a tight bind.
“There’s a lot of growers that will go bankrupt,” said Fernandez. “…They just don’t have the cash flow to sustain these kinds of losses.”
Putnam is considering using aerial pesticides to combat the costly insects, using GF-120, currently approved for use even on organic crops, according to the Miami Herald.
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