As Georgia’s southern neighbor struggles to reboot its legendary citrus industry, citrus is becoming a bigger factor in the state.
Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, sees satsumas as an emerging crop for Georgia.
“We’re seeing some pretty significant acreage for satsumas, and we could see commercial production in two to three years along the coastal plan south of Albany,” he says.
Georgia citrus accounted for just 30 acres in 2013, but this expanded to 250 acres in 2017 and is expected to climb.
Lindy Savelle, a former FBI agent who is the head of the newly created Georgia Citrus Association, is leading the charge.
Savelle formed 1Dog Ventures with her brother Clay to sell satsumas, along with seedless lemons, tangerines, and grapefruits — all exclusively licensed from the University of Georgia.
While Savelle’s satsumas are cold tolerant to 15°F, it is hoped Georgia’s winters will prove to be too cold for the scourge of the citrus industry, citrus greening disease, which continues to wreak havoc in Florida and has been found in California.
Additionally, since it doesn’t take a lot of land to be commercial in citrus, growing satsumas could be a good option for family farms feeling increasing pressure from 2018’s climbing interest rates and lower commodity prices.
This is an excerpt from the most recent Produce Blueprints quarterly journal. Click here to read the full article.