The price for a gallon of not-from-concentrate orange juice increased by more than $1.50, to reach $5.90 last month, according to Time magazine.
Why the price increase? Hurricane season hasn't helped. Tropical Storm Fay drenched Florida, entering and exiting the state four times, according to the article.
All that rain did damage to the state's $9 billion citrus industry. Fruit was knocked off trees and wind and rain worsened citrus canker, a disease that infects leaves and causes fruit to drop prematurely. The article says canker has destroyed more than 16 million trees in Florida, and Fay has made it worse.
As a result of the storms and disease, orange production has declined by nearly half compared to three years ago, and the article says several growers have had to sell their groves to developers.
There is now concern brewing about Florida's grapefruit season, which is less than a month away; there might not be enough ripe fruit to reach market.
Another threat looms large over the citrus industry: greening, a condition caused by the Asian Citrus psyllid, an insect invader from overseas. Greening, which spreads from tree to tree without the aid of heavy winds or rain, creates misshapen and bitter fruit and eventually renders the infected trees useless.
Hopefully you like vegetable juice.
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