Read the thoughts and comments concerning key issues in the citrus industry by nursery owner, Phil Rucks.

The Florida citrus industry has had a lot on its proverbial plate. From citrus greening to Hurricane Irma, the industry is in dire straits. See comments from Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery owner, Phil Rucks, from a spring panel discussion at the International Citrus Business Conference, as reported in a Citrus Industry article highlighting current challenges faced by the industry, below.

Rucks on the Citrus Industry

Rucks focused his thoughts on citrus greening, also known as HLB, the impact Hurricane Irma had, and the increasing demand for late versus early orange varieties. His thoughts, according to the article, included:

Citrus Greening: Rucks believes recovery from citrus greening will happen “sooner than later,” because “we’ve got some good new varieties that are more tolerant and even resistant to HLB.”

Hurricane Irma: “It was really a dramatic setback we had. It kind of took the wind out of our sails. But we’re a resilient industry and we’ve always had a tendency to come back.”

Late Versus Early Orange Varieties: According to the article, Rucks maintained that in the past 30 years, demand has shifted from early to late-season oranges, with “late varieties currently accounting for 60 to 65 percent of plantings. Rucks said “that makes the season shorter, so the result of that is our labor pool is going to be lessened at the early season. It’s going to disrupt our labor stream.”

Read the entire article here.

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