Putnam: Private Citrus Forecast ‘a Kick in the Gut’

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Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam expresses pleasure at celebrating the 25th Citrus Expo and dismay at a private citrus forecast of 60.5 million boxes of Florida oranges next season.

“Boy, what a kick in the gut that forecast was,” says Putnam, who is a citrus grower. He notes that post-bloom fruit drop no doubt played a role in the low private forecast. If that forecast is realized, it would be the smallest Florida orange crop in more than 50 years.

Putnam spoke to hundreds attending the Gulf Citrus Growers Association’s Celebration, held in Fort Myers the night before the opening of Citrus Expo. He discussed a cost-share program for irrigation in new groves, antimicrobials and efforts to reduce the number of abandoned citrus groves.

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Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large