Replanting, Fresh Fruit

Citrus Replanting and Fresh Fruit Taste Concern Grower

Ernie Neff Citrus, Economics

Replanting, Fresh Fruit

Marshall Hartley

Lake Wales fresh citrus grower Marshall Hartley tells why many growers hesitate to move forward with citrus replanting. He also discusses declining fresh fruit taste.

“I don’t think that we’ve got the perfect tree yet, and everybody’s kind of wondering, where am I going to spend my last dollar?” Hartley says. “Do I need to not plant a tree for a while and wait until something better comes out? It’s a big decision because if you plant and it doesn’t work, you’re going to really be in the hole quite a bit.”

Hartley turns his attention to fresh fruit taste: “The trouble with our fresh fruit is it doesn’t taste like it used to … It just doesn’t taste the same, and it makes a big difference to the grower and the consumer … A lot of people – the school fundraisers – they just didn’t want our navels again this year. So that’s really a letdown … One will be good and the next two will be bad. It’s hard to sell a navel that you’re not sure about the quality.”

Hartley was among a handful attending a grower forum in Sebring on November 10 hosted by Highlands County citrus Extension agent Laurie Hurner.

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About the Author

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large