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Thoughts from the Field

Monday, February 6th, 2017 by tamara

Growers continue to pick what’s left of the early and mid-season and navel crop. It continues be a mixed bag out in the groves; one grove looks rough then you go down the road and groves look great it just depends on the care they’ve received.

Years ago grove care was basically all the same but now of course it’s a new ballgame. Production practices are completely different and growers are adapting… It certainly costs more than it ever has to produce a box of fruit. I’ve noticed with reduced root systems it appears that growers applying slow release fertilizer are having better results.

There is quite a bit of bloom out there right now at first it appeared on the weaker trees but now healthy trees are blooming. Growers have been applying PFD spray since early January due to this early bloom and it looks like they will have to continue as the bloom is going to be drawn out and spotty.

Recent cool weather may help to retard the bloom a little but with rains and the weather warming up growers say full bloom is just around the corner.

The good news is that I sense a little more optimism in the field and county extension folks are reporting more planting in some areas with growers utilizing the new HLB tolerant rootstocks. Some of the new plantings are fresh fruit varieties ,especially easy peel and seedless.

There are also navel and round oranges going in the ground. Growers appear to be taking advantage of the different assistance programs offered to help them replant as well as removing dead and dying trees.
In closing, I urge growers to participate in programs your county extension folks are offering. Highlands County for instance has a whole slate of great meetings scheduled for the month of February. Get with your local extension and get involved. If you know someone that is not a member of Mutual let me know, we will sign them up!

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