Florida Citrus Growers Diversify
Some Florida citrus growers are diversifying into peaches and other stone fruit. Patrick Cavanaugh has the report.
Leading the charge on Florida peaches is Dundee Citrus Growers Association, a cooperative, which the Dundee Stone Fruit Association is a subsidiary. Steven Callaham is CEO of Dundee Citrus Growers.
Callaham... "Florida citrus industry, of course has had its challenges and citrus growers were wanting to be able to diversify and plant something on some of their acreage other than citrus. So we began studying what type of crops could be grown on the same land that they formerly grew citrus on.
How about the equipment to care for it? What about the irrigation? It all had to be thought through.”
Callaham... "You know, the big question is if they could grow it, could Dundee Stone Fruit Growers Association - could we handle the harvesting and the packaging and the marketing of that fruit.”
Again, the citrus growers needed to diversify.
Callaham... "The challenges in citrus was really pushing that, and they just needed the infrastructure and support to be able to do that. And we provided it. We installed a peach packing line, which is, you know, a very specific type line different than our citrus lines. And, you know, fast forward to today, we're one of the largest peach growers in the state of Florida.”
That was Steve Callaham from the Dundee Citrus Growers Association talking to Patrick Cavanaugh