Highlands County Extension director and citrus Extension agent, Laurie Hurner, shares her thoughts on current issues in the citrus industry.

Laurie Hurner, Highlands County Extension director and citrus Extension agent, shared her thoughts on current citrus industry issues in the February All In For Citrus podcast. Her insights—including those on citrus greening, this season’s harvest, fertilizer and soils, and more—were shared in a Citrus Industry article. See the details below.

Insights on Current Citrus Industry Issues

  1. Citrus greening is ‘here to stay.’ According to the article, Hurner expressed the view that citrus greening, also called HLB, is not going anywhere. “At some point we do have to make the decision in the field, at the grower production level and at the higher levels of the industry, that we’ve got to learn to live with this disease, because we’re not going to eradicate it,” she said. She added that the focus is “to make sure we’re supporting those trees that are damaged … and help them stay in a lifecycle long enough to produce a product that can help us stay in business,”
  2. The season’s citrus crop looks good. Compared with last season’s low harvest, Hurner shared that “the crop seems smaller in size, but it’s a lot more in number…We see fruit on the trees; we think it’s going to stay there.”
  3. Fertilizers and soil. Fertilizing to supply macro- and micronutrients has been shown time and again to be important in the face of the damage caused by citrus greening. “We really have to go back to basics sometimes and see what we might need to tweak in our production program,” Hurner said. An Extension short course on fertilizer and soils is in the works for this spring.
  4. Extension resources. “We want to be the ones that help you get what you need to stay in business,” Hurner assured.

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