A pesky, strategic bug called the ambrosia beetle has infected avocado trees throughout Florida with a dangerous fungus called laurel wilt.

Initially spotted in northeast Florida’s Duval County in 2005, the disease has since spread quickly through the state, especially impacting Florida’s avocado crop in south Miami-Dade County in March 2012.

Detrimental to avocado and related tree species, the fungus — Raffaelea lauricola — severely threatens Florida’s commercial avocado industry, valued at $55 million to the state’s economy.

Reportedly, since its detection, more than 3,000 infested avocado trees have been eliminated. Sure, this is but a small percentage of the state’s 650,000 commercial tree total, but there’s no telling the extent to which the disease will continue to spread and impact commercial production.

So far, the only way to stop the progression of the disease is to wipe out a tree once it’s determined infected. This solution is an expensive one in terms of sampling, testing, and disposal, so hopefully a better process is on the way.

Bankers South recognizes that farming is hard work, especially in times of threatening pesky circumstances. Our goal is to assist in any way we can when it comes to farmland financing, helping to ease the distress of these circumstances so that you can focus on what matters: your farm’s day to day operations. Our AgAmerica lending program boasts agricultural loans that align with various needs. To learn more, contact Bankers South. One of our ag loan experts will be in touch to assist you through the ag lending process.