Speed Reads

Good Dog

Dogs and drones may be the last best hope for America's avocados

Florida's avocado industry is in grave danger from laurel wilt, a fungus spread by the ambrosia beetle, believed to have been imported from Asia. "This is probably the biggest threat to the Florida avocado that's ever been seen," University of Florida tropical fruit specialist Jonathan H. Crane tells The Associated Press. Florida's avocado advocates have a simple message for America: #SavetheGuac.

That may sound like hyperbole, but if the ambrosia beetle spreads to Texas and California — California produces 90 percent of U.S. avocados — America really might have to import all its guacamole. Mexico would be at risk, too. So Florida is trying to detect the fungus in the early stages, when trees can still be saved, and to do that, they are employing drones to find diseased areas and dogs to sniff out infected trees. The AP video below has more details, plus footage of one of the four dogs that may save your guacamole. —Peter Weber