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Updated: 08/10/2017 08:30:03AM

Citrus growers start thinking outside the box

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Here’s a bird’s-eye view of Ed Pines’ CUPS plot near Lake Wales, which consists of two, 10-acre structures. Imagine what 120 acres will look like.

by Peter Chaires

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Growers are gathered each morning in kitchens, cafes and around pickups contemplating their options: new/more tolerant rootstocks, new/more tolerant scions, new nutrition packages, etc. Florida growers producing citrus for the fresh market are facing more than escalating production costs; they are facing daunting year-round competition in the marketplace. In order to remain viable, they need to do more than keep their financial head above water, they must pack a truly competitive high-quality product. Nothing is the same as it was last year, or five years before that. The chasm between yesterday’s production and today’s reality is wide.

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