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UF Researchers Develop Device To Count Citrus Fruit Drop

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GAINESVILLE (CBSMiami/AP) – Researchers at the University of Florida have invented a way to quickly and accurately count the amount of citrus fruit dropped early so that growers can see where the deadly citrus greening disease is most affecting groves.

The device has two cameras and a GPS that snap images from a slow-moving vehicle driving through groves.

With the data from the images, growers can adjust fertilization and irrigation schedules.

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released bleak numbers on Florida's citrus crop for the 2014-2015 season, reporting a decline in the orange harvest of more than 60 percent since the peak of production.

Much of the decline is due to the deadly citrus greening disease. Greening is spread by a gnat-sized insect called the Asian citrus psyllid.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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