Citrus growers looking to increase their profits—especially in light of citrus greening—should look to high-density plantings.

Citrus growers are looking for solutions to reverse the higher cost of citrus inputs and decreased profits that have been a constant reality since citrus greening was found in south Florida in 2005. UF/IFAS researchers are looking for a cure or treatments, but in the meantime, they maintain that high-density plantings could allow citrus growers to increase profits, according to a Citrus Industry article. Read the details below.

Details of High-Density Plantings

“In the age of HLB, it costs every grower a great deal more money to produce a box of oranges or grapefruit than it did back in the years when many of our current mature groves were planted. For this reason alone, we recommend that growers approach the issue of planting density with an open mind,” shared Michael Rogers, a UF/IFAS professor and the director with the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred.

According to the article, “UF/IFAS citrus economist Ariel Singerman has developed an Excel spreadsheet that is accessible at no cost. “Every operation is different. So the message we try to communicate to growers is: ‘Customize our spreadsheet using the input costs of your operation so as to figure out what planting density would benefit you the most.’”

According to the article, 145 trees per acre is the about the state-wide average planting density, and the research shows that trees with 220 and 303 trees per acre yield more fruit than those at the 145 trees per acre density. “Planting higher-density groves could offset some of the impact of HLB by decreasing the cost of production per box, due to costs being allocated to a higher number of boxes. Ultimately, this could contribute to an increase in profitability per acre,” said Singerman.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.