See two growers’ experiences with growing Citrus Under Protective Covers, or CUPS, as a way to deal with citrus greening.
Growing Citrus Under Protective Covers, or CUPS, is one way that some growers are using to deal with the issue of citrus greening. CUPS utilizes a large protective screen over citrus groves to keep out the Asian citrus psyllid, the miniscule insect that spreads citrus greening through feeding on citrus foliage. A pair of brothers compared notes on their respective use of CUPS in a recent Citrus Industry article. See the details below.
Growing Citrus Under Protective Covers
Brothers Jerry and Keith Mixon have a total of 130 acres where they are growing Citrus Under Protective Covers in Alturas, Florida. They grow Early Pride, Bingo and Sugar Belle mandarins and Ray Ruby grapefruit for the fresh fruit market, according to the article.
They are in their third year of utilizing CUPS, and none of their citrus trees have become infected with citrus greening. The article maintains they both share that “All of the varieties we are growing have responded amazingly.”
They did not harvest in their first year, but the second year saw 50 boxes per acre of Sugar Belles and 150 boxes per acre of grapefruit. This year, their third year, they expect 300-400 boxes per acre. They said “Our goal is to have exceptional external and internal quality fruit as well as significant production per acre.”
The operating costs are expected to be $2,200 per acre this year. The article maintains the brothers see benefits of CUPS with “amazing” root systems, faster-growing trees, and superior external and internal fruit quality. We can really focus on nutrition and pest control without the confusion caused by HLB,” they shared in the article.
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.