Florida citrus industry keeps working for funding

02/01/2013 09:07:00 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

Peter Chaires, executive vice president of Florida Citrus Packers Inc., Lakeland, Fla., said so many people from different state industry organizations spent time fighting for the bill.

“Not everything was pinned on it, but its passage would have been a substantial boost to the program,” Chaires said.

“I can’t say it only slowed us down from finding an answer by two to three years. All we know is the more powder we have in our keg, the better we’ll be especially when we see the disease making inroads in many cases despite our best efforts to combat it.”

He said the cumulative stress from greening, which first affected sweet oranges and then grapefruit, has now moved to some of the specialty fruit, including tangerines, whose burdened trees are producing smaller fruit.

Florida is down to dedicated growers who possess a strong desire to remain in the business and are experimenting with many remedies.

Florida growers and industry leaders continue feverishly working to keep the disease’s advance in check and are investing heavily in solutions to stop it in its tracks.

dohlemeier@thepacker.com

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