Monday
May172010

Petal Fall

This is the time of the year known in citrus as "petal fall".  The blossoms have ran their course and have now fallen from the trees.  This is a very important time to watch the trees for citrus thrips that do the most cosmetic damage to citrus. Once the blossoms all drop, these tiny pests will move to the fruit and attack the rind of the orange (currently the size of a pea) and can scar the fuit which leads to downgrading to choice or juice. 

 

This is also the time of the year that can make or break next year's crop.  If the weather is very hot over the next six weeks, fruit will drop; however if it stays cools like we have experienced so far this spring, too much fruit will "set" and this could lead to a large crop of smaller fruit.  Only time will tell.  Stay tuned.

 

Friday
Apr092010

Spring Time Busy Time

The citrus blossoms are pushing and this means one thing - our most busy time of the year.  The navel harvest is about 75% complete and we are moving into our late varieties.  The fruit condition remains excellent and the fruit is as strong as we have seen for this time of the year.  We have been harvesting our blocks of young trees to stay ahead of the large sizes.  We are picking Gillettes, Late lanes, Autumn gold, Powell and Chislett varieties.  The fruit is firm, has good color and no real regreening. 

We have also began harvest of our valencias.  The crop is 20% more than last year with average to smaller sizes.  The flavor is excellent with high brix and an excellent taste profile.  The fruit is round with good texture.

This is also the busiest time of year for our farming operations.  We our busy with fertilizer applications both on the ground and foliar sprays.  This is also the time of year when we begin pruning, topping and hedging to provide more sunlight into the middle of the trees and reduce dead wood that can damage next year's crop.  This link is to a video of one of the groves being mechanically hedged.

 

Monday
Mar152010

Blossoms and Wild flowers  


We have posted some videos on YouTube taken while flying around Orange Cove, Orosi, Dinuba, Kingsburg and Reedley. This is the time of year when the tree fruit blossoms are at their peak and the wildflowers are beginning to show color on the mountain sides.  The foothills in the video border the Orange Cove and Orosi areas.  Our thanks to Tom Mulholland (Mulholland Citrus) for taking us on our annual Blossom Trail flight.

 

 

 

Wednesday
Mar102010

Valencia CASS estimate

CASS released its 2009-10 California Valencia Orange Objective Measurement Report this morning estimating the state crop at 34 million which is 21 percent above the 28 million for last season.  Sizes are about average and set per tree is up from 435 last season to 704 this season.  Assuming 80% of the crop is in the central valley, the D1 2009-10 crop is 27.2 million.  Based upon CCGA member estimates, D1 would be 22.1 million.  For entire report click the link to the CASS website.

 

http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/California/Publications/Fruits_and_Nuts/201003valom.pdf

 

Tuesday
Mar092010

March 9, 2010

Rain, rain and more rain.  We are not complaining, as we need all we can get; however it has slowed down harvest over the past two weeks.  This week there is no rain in the forecast and harvest is back to normal volumes.  We have received over 11 inches of rain year to date and this is above average and more rain than we received all of last year.  The snow pack in the Sierras is showing high water content and this will help fill up the lakes and recharge our ground water.

 

If a person wants to visit this area, spring is the perfect time.  The Sierra's are covered in snow and the foothills are covered with wildflowers.  Although citrus is not quite ready to blossom, tree fruit and almond blossoms are in abundance and the annual Blossom Trail drive is in full swing.

 

The quality and flavor on this year's citrus crop is outstanding, with the the best flavor we have seen in years and the fruit condition and firmness are excellent.  Navel harvest is over 50% complete and we should have the old line varieties available for shipping through April and we will begin the late navels in April and pack through May.  Our Blood season is complete and we are 70% through our Cara Caras.  The valencia crop looks excellent with good texture and sugar but will run to the smaller size.  We will begin shipping valencias in April.

 

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