A citrus grower in Frostproof, Florida, is changing tack after Hurricane Ian and citrus greening devastated his crop. “We’re going to plant 700 avocado trees here in Central Florida, which is one of a kind,” said Mitchell McLellan, owner of McLellan Farm. The commercial production of avocados has never been done in Central Florida before, but the orange grower decided to try something different after losing thousands of dollars.
“The last year that I picked anything out of the grove, it cost me $3,000 to pick $100 worth of fruit and I said, enough is enough. So I decided to plant the avocados,” said McLellan.
One challenge the farmer could face is possible freezing temperatures killing the young trees. But after doing his research and working with the University of Florida, McLellan has high hopes for his new crop. He expects his first harvest in two years.