Wednesday
Jun042014

Deja Vu

Spring has decended on the valley with the sweet smell of citrus blossom. We are heading into the home stretch of our navel harvest and will soon begin our valencia harvest.

This past season has been a busy one, with a cold winter that took much time and resources to hold back any frost damage to a very dry year that has left us with very little snow pack and low levels in our lakes. But every year has its challenges and this one is no different. When you farm for as living, you must deal with what Mother Nature gives you, both good and bad; and this season has seen both good and bad.

 

If you had not noticed, this is the post from one year ago, somethings don't change.

Another very cold year with a little more fruit lost to frost than in the previous season.  It was also even dryer.  We have made it through the year but our biggest concern is the ongoing drought.

Much of the fruit grown in this part of the stae relies on surface water, or water from the dams and reservoirs.  But with less than 50% of our normal rainfall for two consecutive years, we have very little surface water to work with and must use our wells. 

We are lucky to have ground water from our wells but we do not know how long they will hold up as the ground water is being pumped by all growers. This would not be such an issue if the govermnment would allow current dams to be raised and additional dams to be built to hold water for these drought cycles. It was only a few years ago that the dams were flowing over the top due to heavy rains, and if we would have had additional storage, we could possibly get through these drought years.

I do understand the environmentalists desire for water for the fish, but on drought years, even the fish do not have enough water and dams would help them as well.

 

Thursday
Sep192013

Latest requirements for Korean shipments of Citrus

Grower Responsibilities

 

Growers are required to implement the following:

 

1.    Skirt pruning sufficient to prevent tree skirts from contacting the ground

2.    Implement weed control sufficient to prevent forming a bridge from the ground to the tree

3.    Make at least one foliar pesticide application in accordance with the University of California Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.

 

If growers have not made a foliar application yet or an additional application is anticipated, UC Riverside’s Dr. Joseph Morse has recommended that growers make the application 600 degree days prior to harvest.   According to Morse, with harvest in the San Joaquin Valley in February until mid-April, the optimum time for treatment within the 600 degree day window is between now and October 15, with earlier applications preferred than later should we have a cold October.  Morse has indicated that applications within this window will reduce the probability of viable egg masses when fruit is shipped to Korea.

 

For additional information about foliar treatment recommendations or the degree day model please consult the UC IPM Web site at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r107300311.html.

 

Packer Responsibilities

 

Citrus packers are required to certify that orange exports to Korea have been treated with the minimum requirements of skirt pruning, weed control and at least one foliar application.  USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Service (APHIS) expects packers to maintain, on file, a signed copy of the attached industry affirmation letter that certifies that orange exports to Korea meet the minimum standards.  This means that APHIS expects packing houses to verify that the minimum requirements have been met.  APHIS has left it to the industry to decide how to communicate the requirements to growers and verify their implementation.  Packing houses that have not already signed the affirmation letter can use the attached letter.

 

County inspectors will inspect fruit destined for Korea.  If FRB eggs are detected, the county inspectors will have the right to determine whether the minimum mitigation measures have been implemented.  If asked, packers will be required to present a signed industry affirmation letter signed by packing house managers and the county will have the right to conduct an investigation to determine whether all of the mitigation measures were implemented.  If the packing house holds a signed affirmation letter and the investigation proves compliance the consignment will be eligible for shipment to Korea for methyl bromide fumigation on arrival in Korea.  If the packer or grower fail any of these requirements no phytosanitary certificate will be issued. 

 

CCQC Recommendation

 

Through our industry’s efforts and APHIS’, we have been able to maintain blanket fumigation on arrival in Korea this season.  This ensures minimal disruption of trade and no rejections of fruit loads.  This doesn’t mean we can step back from FRB control efforts. Korean officials were reluctant to provide this accommodation.  They have insisted that FRB control should take place in California.  We expect this to be the last year for blanket fumigation.  Starting next season (2014-2015), it is understood that all shipments to Korea must pass a county inspection before the fruit can be shipped to Korea.  This means that next year (2014-2015) there will be zero tolerance for FRB eggs in shipments to Korea.  CCQC strongly recommends that growers and packing houses take all possible measures to reduce FRB populations over the next 12 months, otherwise it will be very difficult to maintain current trade volumes to Korea.

 

CCQC plans to provide ongoing information about research results and recommendations for the Korea market.

 

Please contact me by telephone at (530) 885-1894 or via e-mail at jcranney@calcitrusquality.org if you have questions or need additional information.

 

 

California Citrus Quality Council

853 Lincoln Way, Suite 206

Auburn, CA 95603

Tel:  (530) 885-1894

Fax: (530) 885-1546

James R. Cranney, President: jcranney@calcitrusquality.org

Carleen Price, Executive Assistant: cprice@calcitrusquality.org

http://www.calcitrusquality.org

 

Monday
Sep162013

The 2013-14 CA Navel forecast is 88 million cartons, down 2% from the previous season

Producers reported good growing conditions this year. The average fruit size is up while average fruit per tree is down when compared to previous seasons. This initial forecast is based on an objective measurement survey conducted in California's Central Valley during July and August. Survey results also showed that harvest is expected to be earlier than the previous seasons. Click here to view the report.

 

Wednesday
Sep042013

Skirting Trees for Korea

 

 

 

Tuesday
Jul022013

Korea Advisory - Minimum Mitigation Measures

California Citrus Packers:

 The California Citrus Quality Council (CCQC) is contacting packers to inform the industry about the latest situation regarding exports to Korea.  USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will be negotiating with its counterpart agency this September in Korea to establish the conditions for California citrus exports to Korea during the 2013-2014 season.

 Korea’s Quarantine Inspection Agency (QIA) has indicated that the 2012-2013 season would be the last season in which blanket methyl bromide fumigation would be permitted in Korea.  However, since mitigation measures to control Fuller rose beetle (FRB) have not been fully developed APHIS has indicated a willingness to request another season of fumigation, but only if the industry commits to minimum mitigation measures.

 Should Korea’s QIA agree to this proposal, only fruit that has met the minimum requirements will be allowed to be fumigated on arrival.  The minimum requirements are (i) skirt pruning, (ii) weed control and (iii) at least one foliar insecticide treatment.

 We are conveying this information now so that the measures can be implemented in case QIA agrees to the proposal.  However, there is no guarantee that such an agreement will be reached.  QIA could also require complete control of FRB in California and eliminate the blanket fumigation.  Since the outcome of the negotiations are unknown, we encourage the industry to consider all possible mitigation options including trunk applications to reduce FRB populations to the lowest possible levels.

 We plan to provide additional information as it becomes available.

 Please contact me by telephone at (530) 885-1894 or via e-mail at jcranney@calcitrusquality.org if you have questions or need additional information.

 Regards,

Jim

 

James R. Cranney, Jr.

California Citrus Quality Council

853 Lincoln Way

Auburn, California 95603

Tel: (530) 885-1894

Mobile: (530) 906-6546

jcranney@CalCitrusQuality.org