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Brown vetoes funding to fight citrus disease

Gov. Jerry Brown last week vetoed a bill that would have provided $5 million a year to fight diseases that are threatening California's $1.8 billion citrus industry, including the tree-killing disease known as huanglongbing, or citrus greening.

The disease terrifies commercial citrus growers. They have watched the spread across Southern California of the Asian citrus psyllid, the insect that carries citrus greening.

Brown acknowledged the threat of citrus greening but suggested the better way to deal with funding is during the state budget process.

John Krist, CEO of the Farm Bureau of Ventura County, said the disease program's federal funding has been cut significantly by the so-called sequester and the industry can't afford to wait for the budget process.

— Staff and wire reports. Submit items to robert.digitale@pressdemocrat.com.


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