Rare virus linked to sugarcane killing South Florida lawns

A plant disease linked to sugarcane that had largely vanished 40 years ago has suddenly reappeared, becoming the first virus in the state to attack South Florida’s manicured lawns. Scientists don’t know why the disease suddenly morphed and began spreading in Palm Beach and Pinellas counties. And so far they have no tools to stop it, other than cleaning lawn equipment or replacing sod with more resilient varieties, said Phil Harmon, a plant pathologist with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

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