Citrus operations are facing many present-day challenges.
Some are traditional challenges including:
- Canopy productivity management.
- Managing crop yield for insects, drop, and weather.
- Efficient management of grove culture.
Others are recent, non-traditional challenges including:
- Coping with the demands of added operations, capital, and operating costs due to the HLB citrus “greening” epidemic.
Citrus greening, a devastating disease that threatens to destroy the commercial citrus industry, poses a major threat to all citrus operations. Combined with the traditional threats to the industry, including market price fluctuations, weather, and governmental regulation, many citrus operations are in a tough spot.
While solutions exist to control traditional citrus threats, including citrus canker and CTV, controlling HLB is still a work in progress. So far, solutions are scarce. For many operations, the citrus greening epidemic has been detrimental, resulting in a severe loss of production. If operations are not managed properly, a loss of production hurts their economic viability.
There are options, however, to deal with these challenges. Citrus growers may opt to:
- Leave the industry and repurpose and/or sell the land for other agricultural or real estate uses.
- Be patient and wait for HLB research to develop a cure.
- Develop a proactive strategic plan – a “game plan” – for survival, including:
- Continuing a Reset/Solid Set program to maintain grove canopy production,
- aggressive initiatives for HLB therapy to prolong grove life,
- efficient management of “normal” grove culture, and
- a rigorous detailed program to track results and grove performance.
If you’re going to take the third approach and implement an effective HLB defense strategy, you’re going to need capital assets to support land, equipment, infrastructure, and planting costs.
To finance a successful citrus industry operation, call on the ag lending expertise of Bankers South. When it’s time to buy/plant more citrus trees or expand your groves, our AgAmerica agriculture loans are a great choice. These special ag loans feature low interest rates, which often beat all other agricultural loan programs. Learn more about this one-of-a-kind ag loan program!