Florida Citrus Management Practices

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  • 1 Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fl 32611-0690.
  • | 2 Program Development and Evaluation Center, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fl 32611-0285.

Although a major freeze has not affected the Florida citrus industry since 1989, growers continue to rank cold protection as an important information need. A moderate freeze during 1996 further emphasized the need to document current cold protection and related management practices. A statewide survey conducted in 1996 indicated that the National Weather Service and commercial radio or television were the primary sources of weather information in 1996, but when asked where they would obtain agricultural weather forecasts after 1996, growers indicated they would rely more on commercial radio or television, private meteorologists and the extension service. Grower awareness of the effectiveness of cold protection methods decreased with temperature and with grower production experience. Microsprinklers were the most commonly used method for both cold protection and irrigation. Fifty percent of growers surveyed used computers for grove management, primarily for financial record keeping, with younger growers more likely to use computers than older growers. The percentage of growers with small groves is decreasing while the percentage of growers with large groves is increasing.

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