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US grapefruit production moves to warmer regions
Grapefruit production has moved into the warmer regions in time for the winter season. Yields are forecast to be close to the average, but the quality of the fruit is looking good. The season will stick around the desert region for a number of months, while the Texas season has also begun.
"The grapefruit season shifted into district 3 during October, which is the desert region and includes areas around Coachella and the border regions," said Wes Yamamoto, of Sunrise Farms Citrus in California. "We have the Pink Grapefruit, which is like a Marsh and Ruby, and also the Red variety. Texas grapefruit also started last week and that season will go through March. The California desert season can go either to Dec or as late as May, depending on the grower. The main concern are freezes which can occur in December or January. Newer trees can attain good sizes quicker so if there is a market, the growers tend to get that product out sooner. But if they have the capacity to see through the winter, then we can have fruit well into the New Year and into spring."
Market strong as supplies build
The gap in seasons has had an effect on current supply and the market is reflecting that, with strong prices. This is expected to ease as volume starts to build from the dessert region and more fruit enters the market.
"It has been a normal year, neither a bumper crop nor a light one," Yamamoto said. "Quality and sizing have been good and the market has been high because growers are just getting started in those desert areas. Everyone is starting now so the expectation is for a lot of fruit to come into the pipeline and we should see prices drop in the coming weeks."
For more information:
Sunrise Farms Citrus
Tel: +1 760-598-3276
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