Grower Gets Strong Orange Production

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening

strong orange production
strong orange production

Bobby Mixon

Bobby Mixon of Sunny South Packing Company, one of several sharing experiences at a recent grower forum in Arcadia, reported good production from a Vernia orange block. He said the block yielded 450 to 500 boxes to the acre last season, which is far above average orange yield in the HLB era. Mixon says Vernia provides “alternate production” from year to year. “One year you’ll get probably 10 to 15 percent less than you did the year before, and then the next year, it’ll come back up. But it’s a good producing orange.”

Other oranges he grows produce about 300 boxes per acre, he says. He reports that HLB has reduced production about 35 percent over the past three to four years.

When asked about the cause of the good production, Mixon responds: “Well, I don’t know. A lot of it I attribute to the good Lord, because he grows them, he owns them; I don’t. I’m just his servant and caretaker.”

Like most Florida growers this year, Mixon has used bactericides in his groves. “What we’ve seen now looks great,” he says. “We look better than we did two or three years ago … But the thing of it is, we don’t know if it’s all bactericides.” He explains that the weather could be contributing strongly to good grove conditions. “We had a good growing season; everything looked real good. But we’re getting into the dry season now. We’ll know in the next two or three months how much result the bactericides had for us. Right now we don’t have that much drop. But if this weather starts going back, it (fruit) might start falling on the ground. We don’t know. It’s just a wait-and-see situation.”

The October 27 grower forum in Arcadia was hosted by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association.

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About the Author
Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large