(USATODAY) — LAKE WALES, Fla. (AP) — Citrus has always been synonymous with Florida.
The orange adorns the state license plate. The University of Florida's famed football stadium was named after an orange magnate. There is even a county called Citrus.
Throughout the decades, the citrus industry has always stood strong — through freezes, hurricanes and rampant development.
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But now the $9 billion industry is facing its biggest threat yet, putting at risk the state's economy but also its very identity. Blame a mottled brown bug no bigger than a pencil eraser that carries a lethal disease.
In China, where the problem was first discovered, it's called huanglongbing. Translation: "the yellow dragon disease." In Florida, it's known simply as "greening."