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Baptists Feeling the Drought Too!

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 by tamara

What a drought! It’s so dry that I heard that the Baptist are going to have to start sponging folk off rather than dunk them! Folks all over are crying about the dry weather and what are we going to do? Nothing until it rains and eventually it will rain again. A grower told me the other day that he didn’t think it was ever going to rain. I know it doesn’t look like it right now but I guarantee it will rain again when we need it the most. What really concerns me is the lack of water in areas that usually hold a little water even in the worst droughts are all dried up now.

It’s a nightmare out there for growers and caretakers trying to keep everything irrigated and out of stress, not to mention the price of fuel running production cost even higher.

Throughout the state’s citrus growing regions some groves are showing signs of wilt in the heat of the day and a little more drop of young fruit that expected. Trees that were affected by the cold weather this past winter and those with greening or other diseases look the worst, dropping quite a bit of fruit and in some cases beginning to die back.

It sure is hard to replace good rainfall with micro-jets.

It seems like when we do get a little rain along comes the wind and its dry again in a day or two. This also affects the foliage on the trees drying them out putting them in a wilt. We should be heading into the rainy season and conditions will change but so far that hasn’t happened. Most growers think that we will be ok and in some cases where some drop has been noticed the fruit will probably size up more and make up the difference in production.

The industry is always up against it in one way or another; either labor, weather, market, cost of production, disease that we didn’t ask for, but you know after all this time in this great industry the more things change it seems the more they stay the same. Growers still meet at their local restaurants to discuss and solve all the problems out there, they always armchair quarterback the latest football game, solve political issues, what the preacher said on Sunday, ask about each other’s families compare fruit prices, which one got the best deal or the best price on fertilizer and material. Same discussion just different faces and different issues. I think back to the freezes the industry suffered and these tough growers are still here and replanting. Well his drought is just another bump in the road.

Florida Citrus Mutual just finished its area meetings and elections I thank all the growers’ that attended and for those who were not able to make it you missed a good program outlining what has been happening within your organization. Not to mention the great meal that was served. Remember we are your organization and we are proud to serve the growers of Florida. Let us hear from you. Call me and I will make sure a representative gets in touch with you!

Rusty Wiygul
Director of Grower Affairs

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