Terry Breaux is one of the last commercial citrus growers in south Louisiana's Terrebonne Parish. He claims to have lost hundreds of trees to last winter's cold, but hopes that a good crop in his remaining trees will let him fill his orchard back up again.
"I lost between 300 to 400 trees of my trees during the winter, and I plan to plant about 300 to replace those," said Breaux. The crop is ripening and sweetening earlier than usual, according to Breaux and LSU AgCenter horticulture agent Barton Joffrion.
That doesn't seem to be the case in Plaquemines Parish, the heart of Louisiana's citrus business. Stuart Riley, who has a small citrus farm in Port Sulphur, also said fruit seems to be ripening about the usual time.
Plaquemines Parish contributed $6.1 million of Louisiana's $11.6 million citrus business last year, compared to $230,300 in Terrebonne Parish — one of eight parishes with citrus crops worth at least $100,000, according to the LSU AgCenter's annual report.
Other top citrus-producing parishes mentioned in an article by idahostatesman.com were Vermilion at $1.5 million, Beauregard with $1.2 million and Iberia at $1 million, Lafourche at $442,400; St. James at $202,200, and St. Mary at $103,700.