Spring 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to the Spring Edition of my "Real Estate Resource" Newsletter.

Please check out my website waltbethel.com to view my listings, search for property, or to enjoy one of my archived newsletters.
Florida Blueberry Growers Face Competition from Mexico
The Florida blueberry industry started in the 1970s because IFAS developed a variety of blueberries called Southern high bush, which are productive in Florida’s mild climate and fruit at just the right time. Fast forward 40 years and Blueberries are the 8th most profitable winter crop in the state.

Blueberry growers like Straughn Farms in Waldo work closely with IFAS to help them research and develop new varieties for Florida growers. It’s the only way Florida can stay competitive in a market that’s becoming saturated with Mexican Blueberry imports.

From 2015 to 2017, blueberry imports from Mexico doubled. ABC Action News Tampa explains that providing Mexico with UF made varieties hurts Florida Growers and helps the competition. However, IFAS explains in a statement that the news report was a misrepresentation of the facts.

IFAS executive director John Beuttenmuller explains if they didn’t license their patents to growers in Mexico, the patent wouldn’t be covered by international law. “It would be essentially the same as falling into the public domain”.

IFAS explains that licensing blueberry varieties to Mexico gives them control over that part of their production . Less than 2% of imported Mexican blueberries are UF varieties according to Beuttenmuller. That number has decreased each of the last 3 years.

Beuttenmuller says 70% of the money that comes from licensing blueberry varieties goes back to Blueberry research which is critical because Florida blueberry growers are facing a shortage of workers who can pick blueberries. IFAS says they are working on developing varieties of blueberries that can be picked by machine, which is critical if Florida growers are going to stay competitive during the spring blueberry season.

Source: WCJIB News
Drone Images Can Accurately Find, Count Citrus Trees
By using drone technology , Florida citrus growers can find out how many trees live in their groves and, eventually, they may detect the health status of the trees, a new University of Florida study shows Imaging from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can accurately detect and count citrus trees and spaces where trees have had to be removed in groves, said Yiannis Ampatzidis, an assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering. This technique would save growers time, money and labor costs . It also lets growers know how many trees they must order from nurseries so they can replant.

The system also can be used to evaluate citrus varieties and rootstocks by detecting tree traits that citrus breeders would want to know about, Ampatzidis said. Those include traits that produce healthy and tasty fruit and a higher yield.

Eventually, researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) hope to use the UAV images to detect citrus tree traits that would lead to quicker diagnoses of heat stress and pest diseases, including the deadly citrus greening disease.

For the new research, Ampatzidis and his colleagues attached an imaging mechanism to a UAV, and it accurately detected citrus trees and gaps between trees in a grove in Hendry County, Florida. Because many citrus trees are damaged or die from citrus greening disease, farmers have to remove the plants from their groves. That tree removal causes gaps between trees.

This is the very first step toward developing an individual tree analysis ,” said Ampatzidis, a faculty member at the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) in Immokalee, Florida. “Growers need to know the number and location of tree gaps in order to order and replant new trees. They need to know problematic areas and weak trees.”

The drone technology should also help citrus growers deal with new agriculture insurance policies that require detailed information about each grove , he said. For example, most insurance firms want to know the number of trees in each field, so growers need to accurately report that.

Right now, farmers try to manually measure the number of trees in their groves, said Ampatzidis, who works with several growers trying to address these issues. Those growers say other UAV-based systems are not as accurate as the UF/IFAS-developed UAV-based sensing system.

“We flew in a field with about 5,000 trees and failed to detect only eight to 10 trees,” he said. Other systems growers had used failed to detect more than 500 trees, Ampatzidis said.

Collecting citrus data manually is extremely time consuming, labor-intensive and costly, Ampatzidis said. For example, in a recent study with 50 rootstock varieties and 5,000 trees, scientists had to collect data about traits such as tree size and height, tree stress and more tree by tree. To do so, they must measure the size and height of every tree with measuring tapes or poles, which takes a lot of time, he said. In collaboration with Ute Albrecht, an assistant professor at the UF/IFAS SWFREC, Ampatzidis is developing a UAV-based high throughput system to automate this data collection procedure.

The new UF/IFAS research is published in the journal Remote Sensing.

 Florida Sweet Peaches

Check Page for Times

7347 NE Cubitis Ave.
Arcadia, FL 34266

We've Updated our Website and Logo,
feel free to check it out at waltbethel.com

Let us know what you think!
Multiple Kings Hwy Tracts
SW Co Rd Rd 769 and Co Rd 760 Arcadia, FL 34266
Beautiful wooded properties on corner of Kings Hwy and CR 760. This is an ideal area to build your dream home with plenty of space for a barn, pond, and animals. Located on highly desired Kings Highway (State Road 769) corridor with quick access to Port Charlotte, Interstate 75, or to the downtown Arcadia area. Sarasota and Gulf Beaches are just an hour away. CALL TODAY!

Click Parcel below for more info:
 Parcel DEF: 50.90 Acres              
Highly Desired 5 Acre Tracts
SW Albritton St. Arcadia, FL 34266
Highly Desired 5 Acre Property off of Kings Hwy!! Offering a quiet and private setting this is the ideal building site for your dream home with plenty of space for a barn, pond, or animals. Located right off Kings Highway (State Road 769) with quick access to Port Charlotte, Interstate 75, or to the downtown Arcadia area. Sarasota and Gulf Beaches also within close proximity. This beautiful property won’t last long!!

Total Acres: Ten 5 Acre Parcels
PENDING-Less than 20 Days to Contract!
4 Buildings Off Hwy 17 Punta Gorda on 2+ Acres 
4080 Duncan Rd. Punta Gorda, FL 33982
Four metal buildings totaling 18,000+ sq. FT. on 2.72 acres. Excellent location off Hwy 17 just 4.5 miles from I-75 in Punta Gorda. This property features 4 separate buildings with ample warehouse and office space, a large paved parking lot, and 3 phase power. The Industrial General Zoning allows for a multitude of options. This property is fully leased, including the sellers business (SELLER MAY BE WILLING TO VACATE FOR AN END USER,THEY CURRENTLY OCCUPY 5,000 SQUARE FEET)
MLS: C7410799
Total Acres: 2.72
Listing price: $1,250,000
Large Warehouse with 8.5 Acres Zoned Industrial Light 
2692 Nat Ave. Arcadia, FL 34266
Large Warehouse with 8.5 Acres Zoned Industrial Light located off of prime Hwy 17 in Arcadia, Florida. This Gated property offers two buildings, offices, ample parking and outside storage. The Manufacturing building encompasses over 38,000 total square feet with up to 26' high ceilings. Ideal for manufacturing and assembly line operations or distribution. Currently operating as a Machine Shop and manufacturing facility for commercial mowers and fertilizer spreaders. The Business, inventory, and adjacent 4.69 acres of commercial real estate may be purchased separately.

MLS: C7249502
Total Acres: 8.5
Listing price: $970,000
12+ Acre Joshua Creek Estate
3410 County Rd 760 Arcadia,FL 34266
Beauty and privacy abound in this 12.64 acre estate set among oak hammocks, a gently flowing creek and manicured pastures. As you enter through the private gate down the paved drive you are welcomed to this custom built 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath brick home. With over 2,700 heated sq. ft., this meticulously maintained home features soaring ceilings, an open floor plan, lots of natural light, and a spacious screened back patio perfect for relaxing & enjoying the natural Florida habitat. The kitchen is complete with breakfast bar, dining area, dual dishwashers, updated appliances & opens to the formal dining room & family room ideal for entertaining. Downstairs is complete with a Guest Room/Office lined with windows and a large master bedroom featuring fireplace and an en-suite bathroom with soaking tub & separate tiled shower. Upstairs a catwalk, overlooking the family room, leads you to two additional guest bedrooms & a guest bathroom. Additionally, there is an attached 2 car garage, screened gazebo, a detached 30X52 garage-for your RV/boat, multiple RV hookups, as well as a huge workshop. Workshop is outfitted with kitchen & office area, ideal for home business. Much of the acreage is cleared pasture land with a pond & lends itself to cattle and horses. Property is within 5 miles from Publix, shopping, and downtown Arcadia. Come home to privacy and peacefulness on this beautiful, natural property nestled along Joshua Creek! Sellers willing to consider exchange/trade of commercial, vacant, or residential on water.

MLS: C7238071
Total Sq Ft: 2,779
Listing price: $725,000

348+/- Acres with 22 Mixed Use Buildings
5871 SE Hwy 31 Arcadia, FL 34266
348+ Acres with over 22 Mixed-Use Buildings 239,907 total sq. ft., located in South DeSoto County directly on Hwy 31. Permitted uses included, but not limited to: medical offices, a housing facility, service clubs or hotel/motel. This property was formerly a state owned juvenile justice center. The property may qualify for H2A workforce housing. A large tract of agricultural land is also included within the total acreage.

MLS: C7413967
Total Acres: 348.79
Listing price: $6,500,000
20 Acres with Move-In Ready Home
5556 County Rd. 661A Arcadia, FL 34266
20 Acres with Move-In Ready 2/1 Concrete Home located West of Arcadia off Highway 70. An ideal place for all your animals and private country living. Gorgeous fenced pasture with large oaks. Live in the home while you build your primary residence, or turn into an income rental property, endless options!! Just 10 minutes to downtown Arcadia.

Total Acres: 20
Listing price: $275,000
24 Residential Units-Mixed Single-Multi Family Homes
5673 SE Hwy 31 Arcadia, FL 34266
24 Residential Units that feature a blend of single family and multi-family units located directly on Hwy 31 in DeSoto County. All units are situated on one 24.87 Acre parcel. All units are hooked up to public water and sewer. Paved roadways are already in place throughout the property. Great potential for rental development. Annual net income posted is an estimated potential. More density may be available pending county approval.

Total Acres: 24.87
Listing price: $1,500,000
About Walt Bethel
Walt Bethel is a fifth generation Floridian, born and raised in Arcadia, with a vast knowledge of all areas of Florida Real Estate and an ardent appreciation for Florida history.  
The purchase and development of his first orange grove when he was just sixteen years old fueled Walt's passion for real estate.  
Since then, he has bought, owned, and sold a wide variety of properties throughout a successful business career. His investments have included acreage, agricultural properties, residential homes, condos, and commercial properties. 
Walt's marketing and sales experience was cultivated over time at his family's business, Bethel Farms, where he marketed, managed, and sold products to "Big Box" retailers across the Southeastern and Midwestern United States.
From an early age, Walt's dad instilled in him the values to work hard and always have a goal, to look for a better way of doing things, and to constantly improve on them.  
The daily implementation of these principles, coupled with his enjoyment of networking with new people and his experience in business, sales, and marketing, have contributed to Walt's success as a Realtor.
 Walt has served on various boards and committees throughout the years. He has coached and actively supports local youth athletic programs and leagues. 
He and his wife Jill, also a fourth generation Floridian, reside in Punta Gorda. They have two children, a daughter Peyton and a son Truman.
Walt Bethel | RE/MAX Harbor Realty| 863.990.1748 | wbethel@waltbethel.com | www.waltbethel.com