In the state of Florida, agriculture is the second leading industry behind tourism, and the state produces more than 70% of the US supply of oranges. However, within the last few years, many thought the fruit would soon disappear from the Sunshine State after an intense decline in production.
However, a local citrus farm shows us that there still is hope for the sunshine state: “Citrus is still here. It’s still thriving, and things are looking up,” Trevor Brown, from Brown’s Grove in Sarasota, tells us. The last few seasons have been sour for the citrus industry in Florida. Hurricanes, imported juices and the diseases that came with that has wreaked havoc on production. There are now only a handful of citrus farms left in the state.
“We’ve definitely taken an impact the last five years, but as far as supply and demand, there still is a huge demand. Our hopes are to supply for that demand, and it’s looking up,” Brown explained.
They’re still facing these problems of storms and diseases, but citrus farms, like Brown’s Grove, have found ways to battle them like having newer varieties of orange trees that can fight off the greening.
As farmers head into this season, they’re optimistic that they’ll have tons of oranges for the community, and Brown’s Grove is also planning on having U-Pick dates, so more people can enjoy our Suncoast supply.