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New varieties of mandarins continue to emerge in the US

California mandarins will get a bit of an early start to its fall harvest. 

“We’re going to start an earlier variety of Satsuma mid-October and other Satsuma varieties will take us into late December this year,” says Madalyn McCracken of Reedley, Ca.-based Ripe to You. “The fruit is looking great—it’s sizing out nicely.” 

McCracken notes that there’s a lot of fruit on the trees, so some of it is a bit smaller than usual. “We did have a warmer summer this year—in the Central Valley we’re used to seeing triple digits—but we may see some sunburn from it at the beginning of the crop,” she says. “But they’re hearty so when we get into the winter months, they thrive.”

Harvesting Satsuma mandarins

Varieties on the rise?
Like many other commodities, mandarins are seeing a rising interest—and a bit of a drop off as well sometimes—in varieties within the category. “We’ve seen the Minneolas decline but then there’s also an increase in the popularity of the Dekopon,” adds McCracken.

At Ripe to You, they’re also working with the Kishu mandarin, a small Satsuma-like mandarin in taste, but is small—golf-ball sized—and is easy to peel. “Some of our plantings have received good feedback from the market and we’re working on expanding that program,” says McCracken. The Kishu are available mid-November and then it makes way for other new varieties such as the Daisy. “We’re seeing more plantings with this lightly seeded mandarin,” says McCracken. “It’s a heartier mandarin in flavor and aroma and we only have them for a few weeks—from about mid-January to early February.” 

For more information:
Madalyn McCracken
Ripe to You
Tel: +1-559-626-7917

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