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Cold and rain delays start of Texas grapefruit season

The first Texas grapefruit for the season is making its way out of the packing sheds. Some growers have already started harvesting while others waited a little while and are about to start. An unseasonal cold snap earlier in the month delayed picking as the associated rain made things difficult for growers. But this is clearing up now, paving the way for extra volume to start entering the market.

"We have had a lot of rain and cold weather in recent weeks," said Martin Drewry of Paul Obst Farm. "Therefore we have not started picking yet as it has been exceptionally wet. Once the weather clears up, we will make a start. The rain has made it difficult for equipment to access the fields. Additionally, there was no real pressure to get started so we waited longer in order for the fruit to meet our sugar levels which they are now."

The cold is not something growers are unfamiliar with, however it did come earlier than usual this year. But despite the slightly delayed start, the crop is shaping up well for the season. "Crop volume looks about the same as last year, and quality is excellent," Drewry observed.

Market good as supplies tight
Right now, there are a lot of eager customers waiting for their share of Texas grapefruit. With the weather causing a slight delay, the market has reacted and prices are strong. This is set to change though once more volume starts to come in. Many eyes will be on the Florida crop as that state's industry has experience issues in recent times, which has resulted in Texas growers picking up the shortfall.

"The market is looking good because demand is strong and production is slow," Drewry noted. "Once more growers get going, we expect the price to ease back. It will also depend on how well Florida goes. Overall, it looks to be a very good season this year."

For more information:
Martin Drewry
Paul Obst Farm
Tel: +1 (956) 782-4644

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