Pestilence Update

‘Not much left to squeeze.’ (Almost) nothing can stop bacterium decimating Florida’s oranges, responsible for the collapse of Florida’s orange crop over the past 15 (5+5+5) years. Of 7,000 (7) citrus growers in the state in 2004, 5,000 (5) have thrown in the towel.

Blog note. Jesus indicated that ‘fearful sights’ (various natural disasters) would occur leading up  to the time known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (a combined seven year period of great destruction on earth). Although these types of things have occurred in the past for centuries and thousands of years, they could be identified as the ‘season of the times’ due to the ferociousness of these events. They would be occurring in greater intensity, severity, frequency, size, duration, scope … just like the pains that a woman experiences in labor the farther along she is in the labor process. We are in the ‘season of the times’ that comes just before the seven (7) year Tribulation/Great Tribulation period

… And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).

… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)

… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)

… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)
Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor.

(Almost) nothing can stop bacterium decimating Florida’s oranges, responsible for the collapse of Florida’s orange crop over the past 15 (5+5+5) years. Of 7,000 (7) citrus growers in the state in 2004, 5,000 (5) have thrown in the towel.

Gianrigo MARLETTA AFP•November 30, 2019

Fort Pierce (United States) (AFP) – Peter Spyke has two types of oranges in his groves: those that are the color orange — and those that are green, unsaleable and responsible for the collapse of Florida’s orange crop over the past 15 (5+5+5) years.

Florida farmers have observed, almost powerless, the spread of the huanglongbing bacterium (“yellow dragon disease” in Chinese), known worldwide as “HLB” and native to China. It was first reported in Florida in 2005 (5), and has been conquering groves ever since.

The bacterium causes one of the most devastating citrus diseases called “greening”: the leaves of the infected trees turn pale, the fruit fails to ripen and remain green, and eventually fall to the ground.

The bacterium is transmitted by a small insect called citrus psyllid.

Compared to the 2003-2004 season, Florida’s orange production will be down by 80 (8) percent this season (harvests last from November to April depending on the citrus variety). Grapefruits are the most affected.

“We’ve lost a great deal of our productive capacity and along with that we’ve 1. lost juice plants, 2. we’ve lost jobs, 3. we’ve lost packing houses,” said Spyke, a third-generation citrus farmer.

“At this point we haven’t identified any way to make the trees immune to HLB,” he said during a tour of his orchard.

Florida citrus farmers have generally been reluctant to destroy contaminated trees, and as a result 90 (3×3) percent of their groves are infectedcompared to only 18 (6+6+6)  percent in Brazil, while Europe so far has been spared the blight. Sprays used to treat trees in Florida have been ineffective.

Of 7,000 (7) citrus growers in the state in 2004, 5,000 (5) have thrown in the towel, according to The Washington Post.

Spyke is taking a long-term approach to the problem by searching for citrus varieties that are naturally more resistant to HLB. On his 30-acre farm he has planted two dozen varieties of citrus including lemons, oranges, mandarins and grapefruit.

The 68-year-old farmer knows it will take years, but is resigned to the idea that there is no miracle solution. He has also changed the way he looks after the trees.

“We have to use appropriate cultural practices that will help it deal with the disease,” he told AFP.

One solution is to feed the plants “slow release” fertilizer, so that the nutrient supply is regular and continuous.

This apparently helps some trees fight against the effects of HLB, which literally “starves” them to death.

This is one of the recommendations given by a research laboratory that focuses on citrus just a 10-minute drive from Spyke’s farm.

– GMOs to the rescue? –

The University of Florida’s research center employs 40 scientists including researcher Johnny Ferrarezi.

“Everyone really wants to see a deadline for solving that, unfortunately we scientists don’t have it,” Ferrarezi said.

“What’s very important to say is that — after 15 (5+5+5) years handling this disease in Florida, we did acquire a lot of knowledge that can allow us to manage the groves in a way better way.”

The laboratory, under pressure from the industry and based on their research, has made available new varieties of oranges and mandarins that can produce more fruit despite the bacteria.

The lab has even suggested a simple and effective but expensive solution: covering the citrus trees with huge protective nets that block HLB-carrying insects, called Citrus Under Protective Screen or CUPS.

In an industry already suffering from a downturn, the question of dollars often comes up, as was the case at a late November meeting organized by the state.

“We still need the research dollars to go towards research and development of future developing new products, the big word, GMOs,” said a citrus grower named Frank Youngman.

Researchers are hard at work searching for a genetically modified alternative, but these mutant oranges are far from being ready to be planted.

Categories: Pestilence Update

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