Citrus Growers Determined to Succeed
September 11, 2015
Frustrated Citrus Growers Are Determined to Succeed
By Patrick Cavanaugh, Deputy Editor
While farmers have been dealing with some tough times, Bob Blakely, vice president of California Citrus Mutual is optimistic about future generations of citrus growers, “Perceptions and attitudes are really all over the board; we’ve got growers who are really frustrated and ready to throw it in. But most growers are staying in, thinking they can still make it in the citrus industry.”
"California growers are known for their tenacity in the face of challenges," Blakely commented. “It’s exciting to see young farmers come on, even though they continue to fight the regulatory battles and higher farming costs. But these young guys have the same determination the prior generation had when they started. So, I am optimistic about the future of the citrus industry in California."
One of the major threats to citrus is the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) and its potential to spread the disease Huanglongbing (HLB), as it has in Florida and Texas. “We are very concerned about the recent HLB finds. Here again, they have been discovered in residential areas, which is no surprise to us. That is typically where diseases first show up. At the present time, the ACP are contained. We are starting to delimit that area, and residents are very cooperative in allowing those trees to be removed."
Download the Save Our Citrus App
There is now an iPhone app to help California residents identify signs of the Asian citrus psyllid and HLB, and easily report findings to agriculture officials. Download the free app in the iTunes store.