Update on Georgia Citrus Acres

Josh McGill Acreage, Georgia

University of Georgia citrus Extension agent Jake Price recently estimated Georgia has reached a record-high of 570,760 citrus trees planted on 3,936 acres.

Figure 1. Georgia citrus acreage continues to steadily grow.

Each year, Price estimates the number of citrus trees planted in Georgia. Calculating 2023 numbers has been a little different because of tree losses due to the December 2022 freeze. Of the 567 new acres of trees planted in 2022, Price estimates Georgia lost 230 acres.

According to Price, approximately 80% of trees planted in 2022 were non-satsuma varieties, which are less cold hardy. Plus, first-year trees are more susceptible to freezes. With the loss of trees, Georgia’s 2022 citrus acreage was revised from 3,262 to 3,032 total acres.

In 2023, citrus tree nurseries sold 904 acres of trees to Georgia, which was an increase from 2022, reports Price. Many of these trees were used to replace lost trees. Ninety-two percent of the trees sold to Georgia growers in 2023 were produced in Georgia nurseries. Only 190 of the 904 acres planted in 2023 were satsumas, which continues a shift away from satsumas in Georgia.

Price estimates that 66% of the total citrus acreage in Georgia is satsumas. The most common non-satsuma varieties being planted are grapefruit, tangos, shiranui and navels.

Price’s best estimate is that Georgia has 3,936 acres of citrus planted in 2023. For his calculations, he estimates 145 trees per acre.

Figure 1 shows steady growth in tree numbers since 2013, when Georgia had very few citrus trees. Tree growth has boomed since 2019, when the number of trees first exceeded 100,000. In 2021, Price estimated the state had slightly less than 400,000 trees.

To support the state’s growing industry, a Georgia Citrus Commission was recently established. Learn more here.

Source: University of Georgia Extension

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