A Grower’s Plan to Survive HLB

HLB

Daniel Scott

An Indian River-area grapefruit grower told the crowd at Florida Citrus Mutual’s recent annual conference about his company’s plans for coping with HLB. The plans include replanting with some diverse citrus varieties at higher densities, said Daniel Scott, vice president of Scott Citrus Management. Grapefruit has for the most part proven extremely difficult to grow profitably in the face of HLB.

The varieties to be planted include lemon, Valencia and OLL oranges, and Sugar Belle and Bingo specialty fruit. Rootstocks for new plantings include US-942 and rough lemon.

Scott Citrus Management, which planted 98 trees per acre in the past, plans to increase the density of future plantings to 268 and 272 trees per acre.

Scott said the company will also institute new practices, including using controlled-release fertilizer at planting and applying kaolin clay to repel HLB-spreading psyllids.

The company will conduct its own grower trials of varieties, rootstocks and production practices, Scott said.

Finally, Scott urged all growers to collaborate, sharing with fellow growers what does and doesn’t work in the grove.

 

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About the Author
Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large