IMG Citrus, a citrus grower, packer and shipper in Vero Beach, Florida, recently bought a 2,500-acre grove in Charlotte County. The grove increases the company’s control of citrus land management in Florida by 27%; it now has 11,387 acres. The property was acquired from the Packers of Indian River.
The grove was originally planted in the 1990s and known as the Chiquita Grove. IMG Citrus has renamed it the Imagine Grove, referencing an existing IMG Citrus brand.
The land is a mixed-use farm property with citrus, vegetable and sod land. The varieties of citrus on the property include red grapefruit (Ruby Red, Star, Flame and Ray), navel oranges and Cara Cara oranges.
“This property has historically produced very high-quality red grapefruit for which Florida is well known,” said Melanie Ressler, IMG Citrus co-CEO.
IMG plans to plant an additional 60 acres of grapefruit on the property in fall 2021 with plans to continue new grove plantings in the future. Over the next three years, the company intends to invest more than $1.5 million through the addition of equipment and the enhancement of the infrastructure of the property. The company is also considering growing watermelons on the property.
“There are also a total of 752 acres of wetlands on the property with endless amounts of nature and beautiful wildlife,” said Ressler. “By sustainably managing producing acres and conserving wetlands, we can grow delicious citrus while also diligently conserving our natural resources.”
Sixty acres of sod land are currently in production at the newly acquired grove. IMG intends to redevelop the sod operation to its full capacity of 219 acres of infrastructure. The sod will most likely be marketed under IMG’s Cherrylake brand. Cherrylake, Inc. is IMG Citrus’ sister company and one of the largest wholesale producers of ornamental trees, palms and shrubs in the Southeast.
IMG Citrus previously purchased two groves from the Packers of Indian River: the Happy Food Grove (3,928 acres) in 2019 and the Sweet 60 Groves (562 acres) in 2017.
Source: IMG Citrus
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