Bumper Citrus Crop Expected in Southeast

Clint ThompsonAlabama, Florida, Georgia

By Clint Thompson

One citrus leader is optimistic about this year’s crop in the cold-hardy citrus region.

“We’ve had some fruit drop on trees, which is to be expected, but mostly are we going to have a bumper crop this year. I think everyone I’ve talked to has said that their trees are loaded. We’re going to have a lot of production this year,” said Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association and member of the Georgia Citrus Commission.

Multiple factors have contributed to Savelle’s optimism. Ironically, one stems from last year’s lack of production.

“Last year the trees didn’t produce much. They’ve got a whole lot of energy to put out this year to fruit,” Savelle said. “Also, the trees are older this year. Not only did we not have much last year, but also the trees are getting older, and more trees are coming into production. The model is ticking up every year.”

High Expectations for All Varieties

The bumper crop is also not isolated to one specific variety, either. All varieties are expected to excel in production this season.

“I think we’re going to see a lot of shiranui this year; probably some cara caras, seedless kishu. Tangos, we’re probably going to see some, but we don’t have a lot of tangos in the ground yet. We’re seeing a lot of them go in the ground, being planted now,” Savelle said. “Definitely grapefruit, red navels, shiranui those sorts of things are going to have a lot this year, which is good.

“We need to have that production so we can have a more diverse availability to consumers and lengthen our harvest season and lengthen what’s available to consumers on the shelf. It’s a good thing.”