The Thayer family, a fifth-generation of Florida citrus grower, has pioneered this low-volume spray jet technology from 1972 to present day. Tom Thayer discovered this technology during a citrus conference in South Africa in 1972. After successfully testing the micro jets on citrus groves locally with the University of Florida’s Professor Dr. Robert Koo, Tom introduced this technology to other citrus growers. As the owner of Southern Citrus Nurseries, Tom created a synergetic relationship between the companies by selling the growers this micro-spray jet technology to more efficiently water their newly planted citrus trees. This low-volume irrigation had many positive effects on our industry by increasing the trees’ yield, saving water, applying the water directly to the trees roots, creating fertigation by injecting liquid fertilizer through the jets, and in the winter months giving frost protection to the trees by increasing the dew point during freezing temperatures.
In the late ’70s, Tom gave our industry one of the greatest inventions, the “Clip Stake”. This innovation allowed the jet to be raised above the ground from the poly tubing. Tom got the idea using a tent stake in his own grove and taping it to the extension. This one product has made a huge impact in our industry, as we clearly see by the millions sold each year.