Florida growers concerned about fruit drops

Many Florida citrus growers are experiencing heavy fruit drop this fall. Grower Jim Snively, with Southern Gardens Citrus, said he is hearing talk of around 30 to 50 percent-plus fruit drop. “I’m hearing pick-outs that are 20 percent to 70 percent below last year; the drop is the culprit in the areas with the greatest reduction.”

Snively claims that the drop in South Florida started in late August and has been continuing. “In other areas of the state, Polk County and the west side of the state, it seems that the drop has just started and is not as intense.”

He continues: “Hamlin and Midsweet are the varieties that are experiencing the drop at this time. We are starting to see some early drop in Valencia. Unfortunately, not only is the drop a concern, but the fruit quality is well below what we as an industry would like to see,” Snively, president of the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association, wrote in the recent association newsletter. “There are many areas that continue to have blocks that are not meeting the USDA minimum standards.”

Source: southeastagnet.com

Photo source: Dreamstime.com

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