Site Selection

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Title:
Site Selection
Physical Description:
Fact Sheet
Creator:
Jackson, Larry K.
Publisher:
University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
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Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status:
Published
General Note:
"Publication date: June 1992. Reviewed: June 1994."
General Note:
"HS-141"

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University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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All rights reserved by the submitter.
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IR00003740:00001


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FactSheetHS-141 June1994SiteSelection1 L.K.Jackson2Manyfactorsdeterminesuitabilityofasitefor citrusproduction.Agood,well-drained,relatively fertilesoilismostdesirable,buttheoneoverriding considerationwillalwaysbethesusceptibilityto freezedamage.Infact,sincefreezesurvivalis paramounttoprofitablecitrusproductioninFlorida, itwillbediscussedfirst.FREEZECONSIDERATIONSeveralfactorswhichmaybepresentaloneorin variouscombinationswilldeterminehowcoldagiven sitewillbeduringafreeze.Generallyspeaking, latitudeisafactorwhich,inmostcases,willhelpa grovebewarmeroncoldnights.Simplyput,the furthersouthagroveislocated,thewarmeritwill likelybeduringafreeze.Thereareexceptionstothis simpleruleofthumb,andsomesoutherlysitesmay becolderthansometothenorth,buttheyarefew andfarbetween.Ofcourse,otherconsiderationsmay disqualifymoresoutherlysitessuchasverypoor, infertilesoilsorwaterdrainageproblems.Sincemost southerlysitesarerelativelywarmandmanyofthe otherproblemscanbeovercomewiththeuseof irrigationanddrainage,themajorityofthecitrusin Floridaisnowplantedinareasinthesouthernhalfof thepeninsula. Anotherfactorwhichdetermineshowcolda grovesitewillbeonafreezenightistheproximityof thelocationtoaheatsource.Usuallythesourceof heatisanearbybodyofwater.Sitessituatedsouth oflargelakesorneartheAtlanticOceanorGulfof Mexicowillalmostalwaysbewarmerthansimilar siteswhicharenotnearthewater.Sincecold weathercomesintoFloridafromthenorth,theairis warmedsomewhatasitpassesoverthewater. GrovesintheIndianRiverareaofthestateare historicallywarmerthanmanyothersduetotheir proximitytotheriverandthenearbyocean.Latitude maycomeintoplay,aswell,especiallyforthemore southerlygroves. Yetanotherfactormaybeimportantduringa freeze,andthisistopographyorelevation.Sincecold airisheavierthanwarmair,ittendstodrainfromthe hilltopsandcollectincoldpockets.Manygroves havebeenplantedonthecentralFloridaridge becausetheelevationofthehillshelpedprovide protectiononcoldnights.Obviouslysincethe pocketsandlowlandsarecolderthanhills,they shouldbeavoided.However,theaboveconsideration isgreatlycomplicatedbythepresenceofwindduring afreezeevent.Whilemanyfreezesoccurundercalm conditionswherehilltopsarewarmandlowareasare cold,otherfreezesmaybeadvectiveandare characterizedbyhighwindsandlowtemperatures. Suchfreezeswerecommoninthe1980's,andwhen windsarehigh,thehilltopsaremoreexposedand oftencolderthanthelowerareasnearby.Inmany cases,onlythesouthsidesofhillsreceivedenough protectiontosurvive.Clearly,topographic 1.ThisdocumentisFactSheetHS-141,aseriesoftheHorticulturalSciencesDepartment,FloridaCooperativeExtensionService,Institute ofFoodandAgriculturalSciences,UniversityofFlorida.Publicationdate:June1992.Reviewed:June1994. 2.LarryK.Jackson,professor,extensionhorticulturist,DepartmentofFruitCrops,CitrusResearchandEducationCenter,LakeAlfred, Florida,abranchcampusoftheUniversityofFlorida,Gainesville,Florida. Theuseoftradenamesinthispublicationissolelyforthepurposeofprovidingspecificinformation.Itisnotaguaranteeorwarrantyofthe productsnamed,anddoesnotsignifythattheyareapprovedtotheexclusionofothersofsuitablecomposition. TheInstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciencesisanequalopportunity/affirmativeactionemployerauthorizedtoprovideresearch,educational informationandotherservicesonlytoindividualsandinstitutionsthatfunctionwithoutregardtorace,color,sex,age,handicap,ornational origin.Forinformationonobtainingotherextensionpublications,contactyourcountyCooperativeExtensionServiceoffice. FloridaCooperativeExtensionService/InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences/UniversityofFlorida/ChristineTaylorStephens,Dean

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SiteSelection Page2considerationsarecomplicatedbythetypeoffreeze event,andthishashastenedtheexodusofmany growersfromtheridgetomoresoutherlyareas.SOILCONSIDERATIONSMostFloridasoilsaresandyandinfertile comparedtosoilsfoundelsewhere.However,even withintherelativelylowqualitysoils,therecanbe considerablevariation.Somesoilsaresodeepand completelyvoidofclayandorganicmatterthatthey resemblebeachsand.Suchsitesarescattered throughoutthestateandshouldbeavoided.Soils withsomeclayandorganicmatteraredefinitely preferable.Generallyspeaking,themoreclayand organicmatterthereis,thebetterthesoilunless drainageisaproblem.Often,soilswithconsiderable clayororganicmatterarelowandpoorlydrained. TheareasthatpredominateinSouthFloridaare basicallycharacterizedaspoorly-drainedflatwoods soils.Theseareusuallylightsandsunderlainbyan organiclayerorhardpanthatinhibitsinternal drainage.Thewatertableinsuchsoilsisnormallyat ornearthesoilsurfaceandmustbelowered artificiallytofacilitatecitrusgrowth. Citrusgrovesintheflatwoodsareusuallyplanted onraisedbedsofsoilthatwillaccommodate1to4 rowsoftrees.Waterfurrowsseparatethebedsand facilitatewaterremoval.Thefurrowscarryexcess wateroutofthegroveintoditches,andthewateris thendrainedintocanals,rivers,orotherbodiesof water.Highbedsanddeepditchesensurebest drainageandaremostdesirableforthegrowthof citrus,sincethisallowsmaximumrootingdepth. Soiltypes,drainage,texture,andtheamountof organicmatterinflatwoodssoilscanvarymarkedly evenwithinagivenarea.Theimportanceofacareful soilsurveypriortoplantingcannotbe overemphasizedasthismayhelptopreventmistakes thatthegrowerwillhavetocontendwithforthelife ofthegrove. Thesoilsthatpredominateontheridgeare generallyfavorabletogrowingcitrus.Verylittle alterationofthesoilenvironmentisrequired.The freezesofthe80'shavedramaticallyaffectedgrove siteselectionalongtheridge.Areaswhichoncegrew manyacresofexcellentcitrushavenowbeen abandonedduetorepeatedfreezes.Onlylong-term climatechangeswillcausetheseareastobereplanted again.ThesouthendoftheridgefromcentralPolk Countysouthwardremainsaviableareaofgood groves,butplantingareasnorthofthisshouldbe madewithcautionandcarefulreviewoftemperature records.WATERMANAGEMENTWaterhasalwaysbeenaproblemandwill probablybethecauseofevenmoreproblemsinthe future.Excesswaterinpoorlydrainedareasmustbe dealtwith.Removalofwaterfromthegroveisonly partoftheproblem.Whattodowiththewaternext isoftenaproblemofevengreatersignificanceand cannotbeignored.Availabilityofwaterforirrigation isquiteimportant.Thedemandforwaterisalso increasingasthepopulationofFloridagrows.Citrus treeswillnodoubthavealowerprioritythanpeople ifwatershortagesdevelop.Permittingforwater consumptionanddischarge(ifnecessary)shouldbea keypartofthesiteselectionprocess.ECONOMICCONSIDERATIONSLandvalueandtaxesgotogether.Somelandis simplytoovaluabletogrowcitrusonandshouldnot beconsidered.Unfortunately,muchgoodgroveland isalsodesirableforrealestate,especiallyifthearea isnearapopulationcenter.Landpurchasedata highpriceisalsolikelytocarryhighpropertytaxes. Propertytaxmayvaryfromareatoareaandshould bethoroughlyevaluated.Specialexemptionsfor agriculturemaynotalwaysbeineffect.OTHERCONSIDERATIONSAccesstoanypropertyisquiteimportant, especiallyinselectingagrovesite.Heavyequipment willneedtobemovedinandoutofthegrove periodicallyandroadswillneedtobeingood conditiontoaccommodatethistraffic.Distancefrom aprocessingorpackingfacilityshouldalsobe consideredashaulingcostsmayincreasewith distance.