Peter Schnebly, co-owner and chief executive officer of Fresh King Inc., echoed industry worries.
“It’s hard not to think about it when we haven’t seen any solutions to the issue,” he said. “We are more anxious and are running out of time. The beetle is within a stone’s throw of us. I feel confident they (researchers) will come up with ways to control it, but the issue is will they be able to do that quick enough at this point? It could take a year to come up with a solution but it could hit before that.”
Eddie Caram, general manager of New Limeco LLC, Princeton, doesn’t think the industry is terrified, he said.
“There’s still concern, of course, but the mood is a little better,” he said. “Everyone is concerned. We just try to keep up with it to see what they’re finding and what they are doing.”
The majority of Florida avocados are grown in groves south of Kendall Drive, in the southern half of Miami-Dade Co., just south of Miami.