85 guests attended the Cold Tolerant Citrus Production workshop on September 30, 2021, at the Taylor County Extension Office.
Georgia County Extension Agent, Jake Price, ‘New Varieties’ by UF/IFAS Professor of Horticulture Sciences, Dr. Fred Gmitter, and Taylor County’s Agent/Director, Clay Olson, Emeritus on ‘Freeze Protection’. A panel of Citrus specialists; Kim Jones, Lindy Seville, Chris Oswalt, and Will McGee addressed questions from the audience just before a wonderful barbecue lunch sponsored by Harrell’s Fertilizer.
Our area representative, Jay Skillman made it happen. Vendors, Timberland Ford, The Irrigation Store, Taylor County Farm Bureau, H & H Farm Machine Company, Yara North America Chemical Manufacturer, Agri bugs, Murphy Citrus Nursery, exhibited their goods.
Freeze susceptibility can vary with citrus types and rootstock. Additionally, the temperature can affect the fruit’s appearance and can be a guide when determining harvest plans. A great tool discussed was the UF/IFAS Automated Weather Network website https://fawn.ifas.ufl.edu/. By providing live weather data such as current temperature, Dew Point, Wind speed, rainfall, prior day’s information specific to your area. Information that enables you to make informed decisions on managing your grove efficiently, saves time and money.
The future holds optimism with advances in breading and current trials. Smaller tree size early season maturity, and cold-hardy are traits that will provide earlier economic returns and reduce the risk of disaster.
GEORGIA CITRUS UPDATES:
- 125,045 New trees were planted in 2021 with 75% being Satsumas. Other varieties grown are navels, Shiranui, Sugar Belles, Kishu, Meyer lemon, Blood oranges, and Grapefruit.
- Diversification seems to be the game plan for North Florida Citrus. Freeze protection practices, varieties, scion and rootstock types, and monitoring environmental data are all considerations that change continually. Keep updated with research findings and utilize all available tools to help make better-informed decisions.