The results of the Spring 2019 Citrus Survey, prepared by the Directorate of Agricultural Statistics (DIEA) of the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries (MGAP) of Uruguay, show that during the 2019 harvest the lemon was the citrus fruit that experienced the greatest growth in its production, both in percentage and in absolute value, totaling 47,422 tons, i.e. 25% more than in 2018. Likewise, in the last five years, it has been the only product that grew in production, and it did so by 33% above the average.
The common lemon is the most important lemon variety produced in Uruguay. With 615,000 plants and 1,200 hectares, it accounts for 69% of the country's total lemon production. In addition, this citrus has the highest percentage of irrigated area, reaching 85%.
In turn, the lemon registered the highest productivity of the 2019 harvest, with 68 kilos per plant (34 tons/ha). Grapefruit had the lowest productivity with 26 kilos per plant on average (11.2 tons/ha).
Citrus production increased by 12%
According to the document published by the DIEA, citrus production increased by 12% in the 2019 harvest when compared to the previous year. Citrus production amounted to 242,000 tons, i.e. 25,700 tons higher than in the previous season.
Regarding the evolution in the number of plants per species, the survey indicated that there was a marked decrease in the number of orange and grapefruit plants, given that in the last five-year period the stock decreased by 20%. Mandarins decreased by 4%, but the number of lemon plants increased greatly, by 73%.
In 2019 the citrus area reached 14,000 hectares, with 6.9 million plants in total, 5.7 million of which (83% of total) are in production.
The current average density is 493 plants per hectare and the general average yield for this harvest is 43 kilograms per plant, which is equivalent to a production of 21.2 tons per hectare.