August 9, 2022

Major citrus grower adds to holdings

The major citrus firm Alico, Inc. said Monday it has bought another 3,280 acres of citrus land in Hendry County for $16.45 million.

John Kiernan, president and CEO of the Fort Myers-based company, said the purchase of what is known as the Alexander Grove from Gardinier Florida Citrus, Inc., will allow Alico to add “scale” to its existing 45,000 acres of citrus properties.

“This Alexander Grove appears to have been very well maintained and substantial new plantings were completed in recent years,” Kiernan said in the statement. “Strategically, the Alexander Grove neighbors existing Alico groves, and this will likely enable Alico to continue to operate as a low-cost, high producing citrus grower. We believe that this latest acquisition continues to demonstrate Alico’s commitment to being a long-term citrus industry leader.”

The announcement came after the U.S. Department of Agriculture last month forecast a 15 percent decline in orange production for the recently started 2020-2021 growing season as compared to last season.

Many Florida growers have struggled in recent years against residential and commercial development, foreign imports, changing drinking habits and citrus greening, an incurable bacterial disease.

Tags: News Service of Florida

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