Florida farmers prepare for less citrus due to drop
Paladin27 / Flickr
Florida’s farmers could lose a percentage of their citrus this year due to premature drops. When citrus trees overproduce, the extra fruit is shed early.
The overproduction can be caused by warm temperatures during the winter season, early blooming and the greening disease. The greening disease is caused by the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus and affects young trees. Tree limbs die back, and the trees produce small, lopsided citrus with a salty, bitter taste.
“You’re seeing an 18 to 20 percent drop,” said Doug Ackerman, Florida Department of Citrus director. “One out of every five oranges that you are going to harvest and put in a box is laying on the ground rotting.”
Ackerman told state lawmakers this is the worst case of citrus drop in more than 40 years.
Ackerman blames Florida’s growing conditions and citrus greening disease for the early drop in citrus fruits. Brazil and other citrus-growing regions in the world have been struggling with the greening disease as well, according to 2012-2013 Florida Trends report by the Florida Department of Citrus.
Citrus drop could be the least of the industry’s worries if the state is in for a big freeze in the coming weeks that could devastate the industry.
More Stories in Florida
A new law in Florida could help students save money on expensive textbooks. The bill looks to eliminate the sales tax from textbooks to give students a break on the hundreds they already spend on required texts.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports there are currently 784 hate groups nationwide. Florida’s 50 hate groups ranks second in the nation, with California topping the list with 57 different groups.
A new feature on the Nutrislice app will show parents and students where the nearest Summer Meal Program site is. With 20 million viewers, the mobile application is designed to inform people about the school lunch program and to help alleviate food insecurity in Florida.
A set of bills moving through the Florida Senate and House of Representatives would require women to attend a counseling session 24 hours prior to having an abortion procedure. Proponents of the legislation believe the bills would provide awareness, while others believe the mandated counseling could have a negative impact on women’s health.
Two bills proposing changes to existing state standings on concealed weapons and firearms in schools won favorable votes in the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday. HB 4005 and HB 19 will now be put to a vote on the House floor before moving on to the state Senate.