Citrus Production Down +70% in RGV

No available labor to rehab damaged groves

I recently had a chance to visit several organic citrus and vegetable farms in the Rio Grande Valley and the lingering effects of the February freeze are still hard to look at. In this picture above you have a grove that has been all but abandoned. The trees are mostly alive but the massive pruning that needs to happen is just not going to happen anytime soon!

I was impressed by the Holbrook’s (Dennis and Russon) organic groves. They certainly had to prune a lot of dead wood but overall the trees seem to have done better than many other groves I visited. It would be interesting to quantify the difference in the care between the two systems (organic vs conventional) and see if the visual difference is due to organic production or something else. In the Holbrook’s case they will stay organic no matter what!

Author: Bob Whitney, Regents Fellow & Extension Organic Specialist

Agriculturalist, extension educator and researcher, organic agriculture enthusiast and promoter, international program developer, Christian, husband, father and friend.

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