Almost 85% of the world’s largest orange-growing area will have to be replanted over the next six years because the trees are susceptible to “citrus sudden death” disease, according to an industry leader.

The orchards in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo produce around 90% of Brazil’s oranges, while Brazil itself is the world’s number one orange grower. The country exports its oranges in the form of frozen concentrated orange juice and controls around 80% of the world market in that sector, reported Reuters.

Around 150 million trees growing in Sao Paulo’s 600,000 hectares (1.5 million acres) of orange orchards are from the Rangpur lime rootstock, which is known to be susceptible to citrus sudden death disease, said the Citrus Industry Exporters Association (Abecitrus).

“We’re making great efforts to inform the producers of the problem,” Abecitrus president Ademerval Garcia was quoted as saying by Reuters, adding that producers would have to replant with rootstock resistant to the disease.

Commercial fruit producers often use the rootstock of one type of tree and graft onto it the boughs of the variety of tree that they want the fruit of. This process speeds up the time it takes for the tree to produce fruit. Many of the orange trees in Sao Paulo have rootstock from lime trees because they are more resistant to drought.

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