Precision Agriculture Enables Success at Cherrylake Tree Farm
A new high-tech approach to growing citrus in south Lake County, Florida, is happening at Cherrylake, reports Martin Proctor on the South Lake Tablet website. Through its sister company IMG Citrus, Cherrylake is planting citrus on its property in Groveland using new technologies and methods. Precision agriculture is helping to reduce water and fertilizer use, increase crop yields, optimize land use, and fight greening. Over the last 30 years, the combination of more extreme weather and greening have been killing the citrus industry in Florida, especially central Florida.
Agriculture, particularly citrus is intertwined with the history of Groveland, FL, and the Sallin family, owners of Cherrylake. The Sallin family business started in Groveland decades ago as a citrus operation. Like most growers, the freezes of the 1980’s wiped out their groves repeatedly and then came greening disease.
The farm management has dealt with the adversity by continuously adapting its crops and production practices, and in 1985 they started the ornamental and shade tree farm operation you see today. “There will always be adversity in agriculture whether pests and diseases, natural disasters or market recessions, we need to adapt to change, diversify and innovate in order to survive in the long run,” says Michel Sallin, Founder and CEO of Cherrylake.
It is this resilience and spirit of innovation that is bringing citrus back to Lake County.