An Investigation of the Current Status of Citrus Plantings on Reclaimed Land in Central Florida
In April 1986, the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research selected the Zellars-Williams Company and Dr. A. H. Krezdorn to conduct a survey of citrus plantings on reclaimed phosphate lands. The Institute specified the objectives to be met by the study, and provided a preliminary listing of parcels thought to have notable citrus plantings.
The investigation was conducted during Summer and Fall, 1986, and all objectives were fully met. Fifteen parcels beyond the original eight identified by the Institute were found and evaluated – data for all 23 are presented in this report. The plantings investigated represented a broad spectrum of soil and drainage conditions, site histories, and grove management practices. In many instances, successful groves on reclaimed land performed at least as well as counterparts on unmined land. Where observed plantings on reclaimed land have failed, the cause has primarily been lack of grove maintenance, particularly irrigation or abandonment. With proper planning and proper care, citrus groves on mined phosphate land appear to represent a viable and important reclamation alternative.