Opinion: Replanting Citrus Insane, Or Insanely Intelligent?

Paul RusnakSome contend the definition of “insanity” is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. For the Florida citrus growers out there seeking to replant acreage — especially amid the HLB crisis — many would say you have a certifiable case for committal. The uphill battle producers, packers, and other stakeholders have been enduring since greening’s arrival has and continues to take its toll. To their credit, many different mitigation methods and various stall tactics have been applied to stop the bleeding and hold on until a cure comes. Almost a decade in, and there is still no solution. Yet, there are plenty of growers still willing to do more planting than pushing.
Is this just bullheadedness? Desperation? Orange-colored pipe dreams? All of the above? Maybe for some, but definitely not for all.

Confidence Stirred

Nearly a year ago, it was announced Coca-Cola — in partnership with Cutrale Citrus Juices and Peace River Citrus Products — was investing $2 billion in the state’s citrus industry via a 20-year agreement. The giant-sized ‘Coke and a smile’ looked past greening to greener pastures to the tune of what would be 5 million new citrus trees on 25,000 acres. Almost sounded too good to be true.
Today, the seeds of that promise are taking hold. Duda’s Citrus Division is one of the operations participating in the deal. Lucky for them, right? Yes and no. One major detail is none of the money is seen up front. Appears to be even more of a gamble than what I first thought. However, the company is all in. Duda’s grove manager Rob Atchley says some think they’re “crazy” for putting in so many acres of new trees at this time. But he’s not crazy. He’s confident, not only in being able to harvest a good crop, but also in the industry’s ability to push forward through likely its roughest patch. That’s great to hear. And even better, he’s not alone in his thinking.

Believe It Or Not

Late last summer, Florida Grower polled citrus growers about whether they were actively replanting (resets/blocks) citrus trees. Nearly 89% said that they were. Just recently, FNGLA’s Citrus Nursery Division fished for feedback from nursery owners about several different topics including rootstocks, inventory issues, and HLB challenges. Regarding tree orders, the statistics were telling. Half of respondents said they had increasing tree orders compared to the last couple years; 40% were even; and only 10% reported a decline. The results not only parallel with those of our informal poll, but also to how the industry is proceeding. Whether you see it as crazy for trying or just being insanely confident, much money is being poured in to buoy citrus — well beyond Coca-Cola’s bump. I couldn’t imagine all that time, effort, and cash going to a lost cause. That would just be nutty.

Topics: , ,

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Opinion: Replanting Citrus Insane, Or Insanely Intelligent?

  1. 89% is a huge ratio. If so many people are actively involved in replanting citrus trees then there has to be some amount of benefit attached to it. Undoubtedly the rootstocks, inventory issues, and HLB challenges are important and should not be ignored, but then there are people who have doubled their plantations to face such challenges. Hopefully, investing such a great deal of time, effort and cash won’t be lost in vain; they would definitely be able to harvest a good crop. Cheers!

Citrus Stories
anti-GMO corn spoof via social media
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Social Media Posts On GMOs Falling Flat [Opinion]
Hopefully, the hysteria the West has perpetuated on genetic engineering will not stifle the potential of moving our production forward enough to help feed a growing global population. Read More
non-gmo label leafy greens
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Report Says GMOs Offer No Risk To Human Health
The study stresses the need for proper resistance management, the need for a different ways to evaluate all new crop varieties, regardless of process in which they were developed. Read More
Florida Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam checks out prepared school lunches. School meals are looking more colorful these days as fresh produce finds a place on the tray.
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Full-Time Effort Required To Feed Farm-To-School Programs
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam gives a shout-out to those providing fuel to kids during the school year as well as the summer months. Read More
Photo credit: USDA
Citrus
May 23, 2016
World Health Organization Experts: Glyphosate Not Carcinogenic
Risk unlikely when consuming crops treated with herbicide. Read More
Food safety meeting for growers in Florida
Citrus
May 23, 2016
Florida Growers Putting Food Safety On Front Burner
Specialty crop industry stakeholders hungry to understand what’s ahead as FDA begins implementing new food safety rules. Read More
Participants of a Citrus Health Roundtable hosted by Yara International pose for a post-event photo.
Insect & Disease Update
May 20, 2016
Yara International Pledges $100,000 To Support Florida Agriculture Students
Scholarship will fund University of Florida undergraduate and graduate students. Read More
South Florida farmland
Citrus
May 20, 2016
Florida Farmland Becoming Big Deal For Institutional Investors
Real estate values in the Sunshine State dictated by money looking for a home. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Says Bayer Bid ‘Financially Ina…
Proposal cited as undervalued, not able to address financial, regulatory risks. Read More
Citrus
May 25, 2016
NRCS Invests $4.3 Million To Combat Clim…
The Natural Resources Conservation Service in California is committing funds to help farmers and ranchers mitigate the effects of climate change and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Read More
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Panama Canal Expansion To Bring Trade Op…
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says a confluence of events is putting the state's producers in a good spot to open new markets. Read More
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Social Media Posts On GMOs Falling Flat …
Hopefully, the hysteria the West has perpetuated on genetic engineering will not stifle the potential of moving our production forward enough to help feed a growing global population. Read More
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Report Says GMOs Offer No Risk To Human …
The study stresses the need for proper resistance management, the need for a different ways to evaluate all new crop varieties, regardless of process in which they were developed. Read More
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Full-Time Effort Required To Feed Farm-T…
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam gives a shout-out to those providing fuel to kids during the school year as well as the summer months. Read More
Citrus
May 23, 2016
World Health Organization Experts: Glyph…
Risk unlikely when consuming crops treated with herbicide. Read More
Citrus
May 23, 2016
Florida Growers Putting Food Safety On F…
Specialty crop industry stakeholders hungry to understand what’s ahead as FDA begins implementing new food safety rules. Read More
Citrus
May 20, 2016
Florida Farmland Becoming Big Deal For I…
Real estate values in the Sunshine State dictated by money looking for a home. Read More
Citrus
May 19, 2016
Bayer Makes Bid For Monsanto
Monsanto says proposal is being reviewed by board of directors as well as legal and financial advisors. Read More
Citrus
May 17, 2016
$130 Million In Funds For Fruit And Vege…
USDA allocates funds for Extension, organic production, food safety, and technology grants. Read More
Citrus
May 17, 2016
Border Protection Intercepts New Leafhop…
First of its kind found in European shipment. Read More
Citrus
May 16, 2016
3 New Herbicides For Florida Farmers To …
Trio of unique crop protection chemistries beckoning growers to whack weeds with these. Read More
Citrus
May 10, 2016
California Citrus Industry Leaders Slam …
Proposal “defies logic,” because growers are already worried about being ravaged by citrus greening, says California Citrus Mutual. Read More
Citrus
May 10, 2016
Winning Streak Continues For Florida Ora…
Updated crop estimate from USDA reveals uptick for third month in a row. Read More
Citrus
May 10, 2016
Survey: Beekeepers Lost 44% Of Bees Last…
Responses indicate summer losses rival winter losses for second year in a row. Read More
Citrus
May 4, 2016
$6 Million Available For Antimicrobial R…
Program to develop strategies to reduce public health risks in food chain. Read More
Citrus
May 3, 2016
New Program Targets Abandoned California…
Bayer and California Citrus Mutual have teamed up to help protect the state’s commercial citrus industry from deadly citrus greening. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]