The number of commercial citrus growers is still decreasing in south Louisiana, with saltwater intrusion making citrus cultivation all but impossible in some areas. For several years now, growers have been fighting what they say seems like a losing battle trying to slow the flow of saltwater that’s creeping in under their citrus groves.
A three-year LSU AgCenter study could be just what’s needed to keep the citrus industry viable in the state, said Anna Timmerman, AgCenter horticulture agent in St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes. The citrus production study is being conducted at the Center for Louisiana Citrus Innovation and Research at the Docville Farm in Violet. The AgCenter’s newest research center is the result of a partnership with the Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation.
Timmerman’s research so far shows that growing citrus indoors produces a high-quality fruit with fewer insect problems and other negative environmental issues.