Remember the good old days of citrus canker, when our government hired arboreal assassins to chop down private citizens’ citrus trees to protect the agriculture industry’s profits? I lost three trees in this scam, one of which miraculously grew back, and citrus trees disappeared by the thousands across south Florida. All in vain. The eradication program was a complete failure anyway.
So you will pardon my paranoia when I encounter this:
As the season comes to a close, those in the Florida avocado industry are casting a wary eye to Martin County, where the redbay ambrosia beetle continues its march southward. The beetle, believed to be a native of Asia, carries a fungus that has proved lethal to… avocado [trees], from the Carolinas through Georgia, and now Florida. There is no method to cure the disease.
Growers, scientists, and…governments are in a race against the beetle as it makes its way south to the $30 million avocado industry. It took a few years to spread through Georgia and was first found in Florida’s northern counties in 2005. It has spread exponentially quicker the past two years to Central Florida. — Miami Hurled
I don’t care much for what I see coming straight down Florida’s Turnpike, and no, it’s not a flock of beetles. To companies like Asplundh, it’s Opportunity on a Rolling Cash Register. To taxpayers, it’s a giant Wet-Vac sucking dollars from your pockets to underwrite another corporate gift. To the avocado industry, it’s a huge profit-puffer as the excuse to hike prices gets written in headlines.
And to homeowners with beloved fruit trees, it’s another BOHICA moment — that’s Bend Over Here It Comes Again for the uninitiated — followed by a giant hole in a newly denuded back yard.
Makes me long for the days of Mad Cow Disease.