Summer 2014

Summer is definately here.  This past week saw record and near record tempatures with highs around 108 degrees f.  The good news is the overnight low tempatures still dipped into the low 70's so we are still seeing fruit growth. 

This year's fruit set looks good, but is too early to tell what will stick on the tree through the summer months.  A lot of pruning and irrigating are the main focus as well as weed control, always weed control. 

Most grower's thoughts are on the current drought and how well the wells will hold up.  Many of us have purchsed water at substantial costs (in many cases, doubling our farming typical farming costs)in case wells do not hold up.  Some area cannot receive purchased water and they must rely on their ground water.  Many growers are pushing out blocks of otherwise good orchards due to the lack of water as well.

Agriculture has done much to be substainable regarding water, and we now need help from our elected officials to help free up some of the water that has been taken away over the past 15 years for fish.  We need not only short term solutions but long term solutions such as additional dams.

Please conserve water as we do and have done for many years.  We are  family businesses, employing many people and trying to get by in this time of crisis.  WE thank you for your help.


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.



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


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 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:

Carleen Price, Executive Assistant:



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.



Skirting Trees for Korea