Grower Discusses Acreage Count, Tree Health

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V.C. Hollingsworth, left, with Mark Hudson of the National Agricultural Statistics Service

Arcadia citrus grower V.C. Hollingsworth, chair of the Citrus Crop Estimates Advisory Committee, reacts to the recent Florida citrus acreage report and discusses tree health.

Hollingsworth says the acreage count is “not down as far as I thought it might be.” On Aug. 28, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released its Commercial Citrus Inventory, which indicated Florida citrus acreage dropped 2 percent in the past year to 447,012 acres. Hollingsworth says he thought the decline could have been as much as 5 percent. But he adds that he has seen some abandoned groves that have been rehabilitated.

“The tree health today is so much better than it has been in the past,” says Hollingsworth. “Something is happening … The crop looks good, and tree health looks very good.” He thinks ground-applied micronutrients might be helping. Other growers have said good rains have contributed to better tree health in many locations, and Hollingsworth agrees that’s a possible contributing factor.

Florida’s citrus acreage has declined in every Commercial Citrus Inventory report issued since 1998.

Hear more from Hollingsworth:

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Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large