Fresh Plaza, an industry newsletter, has an article today about the unprecedented fruit drop in Florida citrus. What they don’t have are photos of just how bad is the problem. The photo above shows some of this fruit drop in a Florida Valencia grove. This same problems is occurring on thousands and thousands of trees throughout the Florida citrus industry this year. The consensus is that this is the worst year for this kind of drop in memory (not including freeze years).
Another problem we’re seeing more of is the on-tree mummification of fruits, in which they seem to die, dry out and hang onto the tree without dropping. Here’s a shot below of the mummification problem we’re seeing more of these days. At this point, we don’t have a clear approach to managing this problem, but different growers and the University of Florida do have some ideas they are trying that will hopefully help with next year’s crop.
Update–April 11, 2013 The New Yorker has an article on citrus greening, along with a photo or two of the fruit drop problem. Some people interviewed by the magazine gave another 5 years before much of the Florida citrus industry collapses.