One Florida citrus grower shares the practices used in the grove that have resulted in a harvest of 325 boxes of citrus per acre.

Florida citrus growers have seen citrus harvests dwindle due to citrus greening, also called HLB. Citrus grower Roy Petteway recently shared the practices used on his 400 acres of citrus to increase harvests, hitting 325 boxes of citrus per acre, according to a Citrus Industry article. Per the article, most Florida citrus growers are harvesting about half that, so nearly doubling production would be a major boost. Petteway shared the practices and methods he and his operation utilize at a grower roundtable meeting in Arcadia. Read the details below.

Florida Citrus Grower’s Path to 325 Boxes Per Acre

Petteway’s groves of citrus for processing are located in DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands counties, and he said they’ve increased production in the last half decade or so. “We’ve come up a long way in the last 5 or 6 years. And we seem to be doing better every year … Every year for the last 4 years, we’ve come up a little every year, which is a great thing,” he shared.

Peteway maintained that changing production practices is what is behind the impressive harvest numbers. The practices Petteway shared that he believes have resulted in 325 boxes per acre include:

  • Use of antimicrobials. “Number one, I think the use of antimicrobials is one of the cornerstones helping us,” he shared.
  • Attention to nutrients. “We’re also doing some mostly liquid fertilizer, and injecting a lot of the microelements,” he said.
  • Increase in management time. According to the article, Petteway shared that growing citrus used to be easy, but it now requires intense management and being in the grove every day.

Petteway ended with “I’m optimistic … Everybody needs to drink more orange juice, because it’s healthy and it’s good for you.”

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.