By Clint Thompson
This week’s return of the Citrus, Vegetable and Specialty Crop Expo is much needed for exhibitors like Eric Johnson.
The retail market manager with FMC has attended Citrus Expos for more than 20 years. But last year was different. The show held virtually, amid the coronavirus pandemic, was not the same as the previous years when in-person events were the normal.
Johnson is not taking today and Thursday for granted.
“It’s great to get everybody back together. It’s good to have everybody in the same room and be able to talk through problems and talk through wins and losses, to learn from each other,” Johnson said. “Not being in the same room with everybody last year was a little bit of a letdown. So many of us are real outgoing folks and thrive on being with our community. We need that support from each other and having everybody back together and getting to hear talks and getting to hear from other people in industry and find out how they’re approaching business is extremely important to us.”
Today’s show will feature educational sessions centered mostly on citrus production. Topics like citrus black spot disease, pest management, canopy health, soil health, irrigation, fruit drop and rootstock trials are some of the topics focused on during today’s sessions that start at 9 a.m. and conclude at 4:20 p.m.
Thursday’s event will focus on agricultural issues like imports, carbon markets and Ag labor, beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding at noon. It will also feature a vegetable and specialty crop session from 1:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. It will include topics like pest management in South Florida, muscadine grape production, hemp research and cover crops.
“There’s some very good sessions. The university gets some great speakers together. We get a lot of cohesiveness and feed off each other, like I said, with our wins and our losses that we face throughout the year. Having that support and being able to come together is extremely valuable because we learn so much from interacting with each other and talking with each other,” Johnson added. “We really appreciate AgNet (Media) putting this event on.”