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Ojai Valley citrus crop damaged from fires

California's San Joaquin Valley navel crops lighter

While California’s navel orange crop is lighter than most years, good supplies are expected for winter and early spring. Navels started on time this year, with the season beginning November 1. 

While the state's navel orange crop is lighter than most years, quality and yields have been good in the San Joaquin Valley. “Overall, its eating quality has been good and the cold weather has really helped to bring out the crop’s flavor," said a San Joaquin Valley area grower.

Impact of fires
Some citrus groves in the Ojai Valley, south of San Joaquin Valley suffered significant wildfire damage, though some farmers do still have fruit. An email blast from Friends Ranches stated they were busy trying to get things back in order after the Ojai Valley was surrounded and scorched by the Thomas Fire. “Going into our seventh year of drought we have been well overdue for a fire near Ojai,” the email stated. “We have not lost anything irreplaceable - although it will take time to get our canyon orchards looking well again.” It was also noted that high winds ripped branches from the blood orange trees and causing navels to fall from the trees with intense wind damage to their east-end orchards. Also, avocados were blown off their branches.

As an industry those working in citrus work hard to ensure that there are no gaps in the supply of different varieties. The source noted that estimatesgiven for summertime crops in the spring were a bit short, which resulted in fluctuating prices and a higher demand for Valencia oranges. 

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