Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) introduced the Fresh From Florida campaign a few years ago to promote Florida-grown products. The program has been a hit, and it’s set to expand; Florida’s up-and-coming peaches just may be one of the newest items to get the star treatment, according to Darica Smith, the division’s director of marketing, in an article published in The Packer.
As you already know, it’s very common to have non-uniform tree growth and fruit yield. Many of you already implement effective strategies to handle this problem. We want citrus farmers to have the right tools to manage non-uniform growth, increase grove productivity, reduce waste, and maintain high profits.
There’s no denying that the current state of the citrus industry in Florida is concerning. Ten years of citrus greening due to the HLB bacteria have whittled citrus yields down year after year and now the most recent USDA forecasts put the2015-2016 citrus crop at 50 percent of the crop yield from a decade ago. However, the many producers in the citrus industry have decided to weather the storm until a cure or viable treatment is found, refusing to lose hope in the industry.
The Sunshine State has always been about citrus, and with the dark cloud of HLB— citrus greening— hanging over the industry for the last 10 years, it will surely be a main topic of conversations and presentations alike at the 2016 Florida Citrus Show. Held on January 27th through the 28th in Fort Pierce, Florida, the show narrowly focused on citrus greening and other issues affecting the citrus industry.
With the USDA’s most recent Florida Orange Crop Estimate at a troubling 69 million, there’s no doubt that Florida citrus growers face some tough questions. As a result of citrus greening (or HLB), the industry’s harvest has reduced more than 50 percent over the past decade. Any way you slice it, that’s a big cut, and for some growers, that cut goes so deep that it’s time to ask whether resetting trees is worth the investment or not.