See what Florida citrus growers are the most concerned with currently, and a positive that growers are seeing.
Citrus greening has been a major concern in Florida citrus since it was first discovered in 2005, but it’s not currently the main issue that Florida citrus growers are concerned with, according to a Citrus Greening article. While citrus greening does seem to have an impact, growers are most concerned with citrus fruit drop at the moment; imported orange juice is another concern. Explore these issues, and one positive growers are reporting, below.
Citrus Grower Concerns
Fruit drop is a major concern for citrus growers at the moment, according to the article. Ray Royce, the executive director of Highlands County Citrus Growers Association (HCCGA), said in the article, “There’s a tremendous struggle now to be profitable, given the relatively low harvest numbers. I think growers believe that if they were able to harvest the majority of fruit that they were able to hang on the tree for most of the year, that they might be in much better shape. But we hear about such incredibly high drop rates.” The article maintains Royce is hearing about 40 to 50 percent drops in production last season compared to the previous year, and it’s just about all attributed to fruit drop.
Imported juice and trade issues are another concern, Royce maintained. “We’re seeing a little more fruit going into the fresh stream. Folks are concerned about trade and having fresh fruit coming in from primarily Mexico.”
However, one positive growers are reporting is the prices they are getting. “Most of them are certainly happier with the contracts they’re working under now than they were several years ago. We should expect that with the limited crop size over the past couple of years, and with historic high levels of fruit going into the not-from-concentrate market, that we should continue to receive high pricing from the processors.”
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