Chapter 23: Confluence of uncertainty

Florida’s citrus growers are facing such a multitude of challenges that many wonder whether an industry that once ruled the state can survive in it. There is citrus canker, which all but wiped out the state’s nursery trees, hurricanes that destroyed entire groves, urban sprawl that turned rows of orange trees into rows of houses, and competition from Brazilian growers, a group of challengers who don’t always play fair. The leaders of Florida’s $9.3 billion citrus industry knew all that, but what they did not know was what the impact of those woes might have on the future.

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