February 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to the February Edition of my newsletter. Please feel free to reply with a comment. I am always looking to improve on the content for my subscribers.

Also, visit my website waltbethel.com to view my listings, search for properties, or to enjoy one of my archived newsletters and stories on Florida History.

Last month I hosted a pheasant tower shoot at Lightsey Family Ranch. A great day with several good friends and clients.
Citrus Spotlight
UF ag engineer develops smart-spray technology to help reduce fertilizer, pesticides
Growers need to spray efficiently so they can apply pesticides and fertilizer only to crops – and minimize the chemicals that may contaminate natural resources.

As they battle the economically devastating citrus greening disease, farmers must look to control costs wherever possible.

With that in mind, Yiannis Ampatzidis is engaging artificial intelligence to develop a low-cost, smart tree-crop sprayer that can automatically detect citrus trees, calculate their height and leaf density and count fruit. That way, the farmers target their spray more efficiently, so it lands on trees and leaves – and reduces chemical use by about 30%, compared to traditional spray methods.

“These smart technologies can save the fruit tree industry millions of dollars per year by optimizing chemical applications,” said Ampatzidis, a UF/IFAS associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center.

Smart-spray technology lets the grower vary the amount applied based on tree size and leaf density, and it will not spray if there is no tree or if a tree appears dead. It also does not spray if it finds other objects, such as a water pump, a pole or a person, as examples.

“This new technology will further enhance the tree-profiling systems we have in place today, with the ability to detect and only spray the target foliage,” Ampatzidis said. “Our data, collected by smart sensors, can control the amount of spray applied to the tree, in real time, and is stored in the controller to be downloaded for further processing.”
Lightsey Family Ranch

Located on 2,000 acres of Florida bays, pines, palmettos, and oaks, outside the small town of Lake Placid, the Lightsey Family Ranch boasts some of the best hunting land in south Florida. One-of-a-kind hunting experiences, including wild hog, quail, turkey, deer, and gator hunts.

See more:
Naming of Venus

Old Venus began as an area called Fisheating Creek. It was located at the junction of two military trails. Cattle drivers who traveled those trails began settling in Venus in the mid-1800s.

There is still an unincorporated area known as Venus, and a considerable number of people have remained living there, though most are now scattered on cattle ranches and citrus farms. At one time, a few miles from the current Venus, there was an actual thriving town that county records list as Highlands County's oldest settlement.

As the settlement grew into a town, its name was changed to Venus by a sawmill owner who regularly traveled to Arcadia for supplies. It was said the mill owner liked to make the two-day trip traveling at night. He found his way home by following the bright planet, so Venus came to represent home.

The town applied for a post office in 1891, with storekeeper James Willoughby Bailey listed as Venus' first postmaster. 

Featured Listings
204+/- Acres Manatee County
42055 Parks Rd. Myakka City, FL 34251
204+ Acres of Valencia Orange grove in Manatee County. This property includes a manufactured home and two permitted 12 inch wells. Located centrally between Hwy 64 and Hwy 70 off of Wauchula Rd near Myakka City. CALL TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION.

MLS: C7454199
Total Acres: 204.66
Listing Price: $2,000,000
433 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte, FL 33953
IDEAL COMMERCIAL LOCATION located on US-41 between Port Charlotte and North Port. 150ft of road frontage on Tamiami Trail PLUS an additional 160ft of road frontage and access on Bowman Terr. Come be part of this growing area with the approved West Port 218 residential lots and planned Murdock Village just down the road. Just minutes to the Tampa Bay Rays Spring training stadium and the Atlanta Braves Cool Park training stadium. This property is zoned Commercial General allowing for a vast amount of uses! Electric and public water/sewer nearby. CALL TODAY FOR MORE INFO!

MLS: C7455082
Total Acres: .97
Listing Price: $340,000
Development Opportunity Downtown Punta Gorda
290 E Charlotte Ave. Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Conveniently located 1.12 Acres in growing Punta Gorda City limits. CC zoning allows for a multitude of commercial development opportunities PLUS an overlay district allowing for residential development. Over 700ft of road frontage across three streets with public utilities available. Unique opportunity to own one of the last large, assembled sites in area. Close to downtown restaurants, entertainment, and just a short walk to beautiful Charlotte Harbor.

MLS: C7449827
Total Acres: 1.12
Listing Price: $749,000
137+ Riverfront Acres
10531 SW Kissimmee Rd. Arcadia, FL 34269
Gorgeous, undisturbed "Old Florida" river front property for your private estate or recreational hunting and fishing retreat. Offering 137.84+ acres full of oak hammocks, cabbage palms, and pine trees with approx. 1,970 feet of frontage on the Peace River via the quiet inlet "Lettuce Lake." A county maintained public boat ramp is just around the corner. Property is fenced and includes 1,800 sf steel building. Less than 15 minutes to I-75, and just 45 minutes from Sarasota or Ft. Myers. A rare find with navigable waters to Charlotte Harbor.

Total Acres: 137.84
MLS: C7437985
Listing Price: $2,399,000
354+/- Acres Manatee County
43555 State Road 62 Parrish, FL 34219
354 acres in Manatee County. Grove located near the Hardee county line at Duette Rd. and Hwy 62. With over 1,600ft of Hwy 62 road frontage, these six parcels combine to form this ideal farm land property. A 60 acre permitted pond is already in place with excellent water quality, along with two permitted 16 inch wells and one 10 inch well. CALL TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION.

MLS: C7454199
Total Acres: 354.35
Listing Price: $5,315,250
177+ Acre Grove Hardee County
Roberts Rd. Ona, FL 33865
177 +/- Acres of cleared land in Hardee County. Five parcels combine to form this ideal recreational or farm land property. This former orange grove is fenced and gated with permitted 12 inch and 10 inch wells already in place. The entrance is right off Roberts Rd. and approx. 10 miles to either Hwy 64 or Hwy 70.

MLS: C7453657
Total Acres: 177.67
Listing price: $1,325,000
4.9 Acres with Creek Frontage
SW Piggyback Rd. #B Arcadia, FL 34266
4.9 acres in DeSoto County with CREEK FRONTAGE. An ideal home site for country living. This land is located less than 10 minutes to Arcadia, but secluded enough for rural living. Call today for a showing.

MLS: C7446929
Total Acres: 4.9
Listing Price: $100,000

9.7 Acres DeSoto
SE Shelfer Ave. #A Arcadia, FL 34266
9.7 Acres in south DeSoto County. An ideal location for a country home site. Convenient access to Hwy 31, just 30 minutes or so to Ft. Myers and 10 minutes to Arcadia. This property has a 5” well with an electric five horsepower pump and over 600 producing orange trees.

Total Acres: 9.7
Sold Price: $159,000

Less than 3 days to Contract!
5+ Acre Tracts
2827 SE Hing Dr. Arcadia, FL 34266
5+ Acres ready for you to come build your dream home in southern Desoto County. 10 minutes to Publix, shopping, and restaurants. NO DEED RESTRICTIONS. Just a short drive into Arcadia or Punta Gorda and about 30 minutes to Ft. Myers. Bring your animals and come build on this beautiful piece of cleared land! Looking for more acreage? Adjoining 5-15 acres also for sale.

SOLD! Tract 35: 5.05 Acres sold price: $75,750
SOLD! Tract 36: 6.22 Acres sold price: $93,300
SOLD! Tract 61: 5.04 Acres sold price: $75,600
SOLD! Tract 62: 5.05 Acres sold price:$75,750

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