Alico, Inc. began treating citrus trees in January 2023 with an oxytetracycline (OTC) product via trunk injection as a citrus greening therapy.
“Through June 30, 2023, we have treated over 35% of our trees with OTC, which is expected to mitigate some of the impacts of citrus greening and is expected to decrease the rate of fruit drop, as well as improve fruit quality,” said Alico President and Chief Executive Officer John Kiernan. “The extent of any benefit of the OTC application therapy will not be measurable until the completion of the fiscal year 2024 harvest.”
“We are looking forward to the upcoming season with guarded optimism,” Kiernan added. “Historically, it has taken two or more seasons for citrus production to recover from such a devastating storm” as Hurricane Ian, which heavily damaged Florida citrus in 2022. Largely as a result of the hurricane, Alico’s citrus production was essentially halved in the 2022–23 season.
Kiernan said grove caretaking practices, combined with the new citrus greening therapy, “gives us confidence that Alico’s production will substantially increase for the 2023–24 citrus harvest season … Of the millions of trees we planted beginning in 2017, many are now mature enough to produce meaningful quantities of fruit this season and help support a level of expectation for a better upcoming harvest.”
“Currently, Alico expects that pricing next season will be in line with the past season,” Kiernan said. “We have the majority of our fruit under contract for the 2023–2024 harvest season and have extended one of our contracts with Tropicana that recently expired. The two-year extension is through the 2024–2025 harvest season, with improved pricing.”
“Although Alico is not making any financial projections for the next fiscal year at this time, we are observing lower market prices for some of our required fertilizer and chemicals,” Kiernan said. “Labor and fuel remain critical resources for us, and although we utilize both as efficiently as possible in our daily operations, inflation over the past few years has increased the base level of those operating expenses.”
Source: Alico, Inc.
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