Grower panel is a big draw at Citrus Expo

FORT MYERS, Fla. – A panel featuring some of the citrus industry’s largest growers sharing their experiences in the groves drew a big crowd at the Citrus Expo Wednesday as hundreds gathered to learn more about ways to cope with citrus greening.

The seminar, titled “What’s working well or why we are replanting with widespread HLB,” included presentations from Jim Snively, of Southern Gardens; Andy Tuck, of Crews Grove; and Rob Atchley, of A. Duda & Sons, Inc.

The three growers spoke about their experiences in the battle against greening while many growers in attendance took notes, including Dan Fields, of Harrell Groves Inc. in Manatee County.

“It was very interesting to hear what the three big growers are doing,” Fields said. “Especially how similar their management practices are in some ways and how different they can be. There are a lot of different ways to do things out there and it just shows that you have to find what works best for you.”

For Hank Crutchfield, of Henry Crutchfield Inc. in Sebring, the chance to hear about root nutrition, psyllid control and growing techniques from large growers is beneficial, he said, since it isn’t always possible to try everything yourself.

This year’s Citrus Expo also featured vendors from all aspects of the industry, from pest management to equipment suppliers. Other seminars focused on thermotherapy, production management, root health strategies and trial updates. With the Florida Citrus harvest near, the expo focused on citrus greening as the disease threatens to reduce production in yet another season.

The Citrus Expo is a seminar and trade show for citrus growers and industry professionals. The expo, held annually in August, began in 1992 and is organized and operated by AgNet Media/Citrus Industry magazine. For more information, visit SoutheastAgNet.com.