CITRUS COLD PROTECTION: A 1996 SURVEY

FERGUSON, J. J.

Abstract


In 1996 Florida citrus growers in 27 counties were surveyed to document current cold protection and related management practices. Four hundred fifty one responses were returned (67% response rate), providing an expected error of 4.3% with a 95% confidence interval. Forty-one percent of respondents were located on the Ridge, 26.2% in the Indian River, 10.2% in southwest Florida and 19.3% in west Florida, with 2.9% operating in a multi-county area. During the 1995-96 season growers relied heavily on the National Weather Service but after 1996 used commercial radio and tv, the extension service and private meteorologists. When deciding which cold protection method to use, a similar percentage of respondents adopted the recommendations of extension faculty and consultants, assessed the costs and benefits of cold protection and assessed risks based on grove history. Ground and in-tree microsprinklers and flood/seepage were the most commonly used methods of cold protection. More growers applied from 1 to 10 gallons per hour per tree for 1 to 12 hours per freeze event than other rates. As temperature decreased, so did growers' confidence in the effectiveness of their cold protection systems.

Keywords


grove size; management

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283