“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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