Inspections to be Conducted this Week
California Citrus Mutual reported TODAY that citrus producers received a welcomed
reprieve last night from freeze conditions after 3 consecutive nights of cold
weather. A dense cloud cover elevated temperatures, steadying in most areas
around the mid-30s. Although rain is much needed, tonight's forecast calls for
extremely cold temperatures, which may pose challenges for dampened fruit.
This Mandarin Orchard was braving freezing temps late Saturday night
with wind machines churning.
The extent of damage is difficult to determine immediately
following a freeze event, as initial damage will occur inside the fruit.
Growers are now also concerned that rainy conditions coupled with low overnight
temperatures tonight will leave the fruit susceptible to exterior damage and
County inspectors and packing house personnel will begin
inspecting the fruit for damage as early as this coming week by cutting the
fruit and visually inspecting each segment for discoloration and dryness. This
breakdown occurs over the course of several days as temperatures rise and
requires a trained eye to determine. If rain conditions persist, this process
could take longer, making assessment of overall crop damage more difficult.
Once inspections are complete, fruit that does not pass regulatory standards
are restricted from entering the market.
program is designed to maintain the integrity of the market for California
citrus," says Citrus Mutual President Joel
Nelsen. "The industry collectively funds the cost of enhanced
inspections at packing houses to ensure any damaged fruit does not make its way
into the market place.” Although the cost has a negative impact on grower
returns, the industry collectively agrees that ensuring great quality is the
California Citrus Mutual is a non-profit trade association
of citrus growers, with approximately 2,200 members representing 70%
California's 285,000-acre, $2 billion citrus industry.
Labels: California Citrus Mutual, Citrus Damage Inspections to be Conducted this Week, Citrus Growers Face More Rain and Cold Weather