Georgia Citrus

Georgia Citrus Industry ‘Looking Forward’

Daniel Cooper Events, Georgia

Georgia Citrus
Lindy Savelle, Georgia Citrus Association president, spoke to conference attendees about the importance of long-term protection of the state’s citrus industry.

The citrus industry has found footing in Georgia and needs continued support as this promising industry marches toward the future.

Events like the Georgia Citrus Association annual meeting on Feb. 27 at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center provided information tailored to protecting growers’ investments.

“One of the things we wanted to do differently this year is remind growers of the importance of protecting our burgeoning industry,” said Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association. “Citrus greening is a high threat to us. It can ravage the industry just like it did in Florida. We brought in one speaker from California that addressed how they kept it at bay or better handled it in California.”

Roger Smith, a fourth-generation citrus grower and AC Foods executive, discussed California’s strict guidelines for managing citrus greening. He implored Georgia producers to be wary of the disease’s potential impact.

The Tango mandarin was highlighted as a potential option for Georgia producers. Freeze protection, insect management and grower discussions on farm-to-market strategies were also on the agenda during the day-long conference.

“Now that the industry has proved itself, and we’ve walked through that major freeze event in 2022, we’ve got some confidence in the industry … We can start to say, ‘Okay, now we’re here to stay.’” said Savelle. “We’ve got 4,000 acres in the state. We’re a far cry from California with 289,000 acres, but you do things in the baby stages to protect you when you become an adult. It’s not a short-term investment at all. You’ve got to do things to protect it long-term. You can’t just put it out there and expect some miraculous return on that investment.

“It’s all about looking forward instead of what’s right in front of us.”

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Clint Thompson

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