Hunt says he’s discouraged by the increase in abandoned groves, to 130,684 acres. He cites the problem in the Ridge area “where you have so many small groves. Most good growers have one or two bad neighbors next to them, which makes it extremely difficult to maintain a good psyllid program.” Growers use the term “bad neighbors” to describe fellow growers who don’t spray for the HLB-spreading psyllids. “I would love to see the day when those abandoned acres are greatly reduced,” he says.
Hunt says the 4 percent acreage decline is “probably in the ballpark” of what he would have expected.
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