Meetings have become an integral part of the production process for Georgia citrus growers. The University of Georgia’s (UGA) most recent meeting allowed producers to hear from scientists about research pertaining to a growing industry in the region.
Topics like changing weather patterns, rootstock research, HLB and the use of ethylene to degreen satsuma mandarins were presented during an Aug. 9 meeting in Valdosta, hosted by UGA and county Extension coordinator Jake Price.
The meetings are important for growers to learn about various research topics, such as weed control, and to get updates on diseases that are moving through Georgia, said Price.
“We get lots of questions,” he said. “I was bringing in the food and left the truck running. I came in here and had so many questions, and about 30 minutes later, I forgot I left my truck running, because I couldn’t get back out.”
Much has changed since Price participated in his first citrus research trial in 2013. Growers planted lots of trees in the following years, many of which were satsumas. Now, the growth of the industry remains strong, but growers are transitioning to other varieties.
“Looking at the trees going in, it’s still positive,” said Price. “I got the tree numbers that went in this year in the spring, and when I compared them to the previous three years, there were more trees put in this spring than all the other years. It wasn’t by a great amount, but it shows they’re still putting in a lot of trees. It’s not doubling, like it was for a while. But more acres went in this year than all of the other years in the past.”
Price estimated that 80% of the trees that were planted last spring were non-satsumas. Georgia has 60% to 65% satsumas in its citrus portfolio, compared to 70% to 75% last year. Get more details on Georgia citrus acreage.
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