South Texas citrus harvest is looking good

The citrus harvest is starting in south Texas as they are just starting to pick our navel oranges now. And although the south Texas citrus industry has had a troubled existence for close to two years, it now seems to be poised for a comeback.

Fred Karle, a McAllen, Texas citrus producer, is excited about what he is seeing in his citrus groves this year: "We've had good weather recently, where hopefully we take all those heat units we got during the summer and take the good rain we've gotten recently and then make a good crop.” 

"The so-called early oranges, those varieties will probably get started after that and then grapefruit along in a couple more weeks, when we get all the testing past as far as the amount of sugar and amount of juice-- the ratio of those two.”

Citrus growers in south Texas have suffered since a prosperous season back in 2018. Karle says that the amount of fruit packed since then has gone down about 5-10 percent each year.

"Last year ended up in quite a disaster market-wise and yield-wise; the size of our fruit was often small... The hurricane hurt us some, particularly in Cameron County," he said. "It probably knocked off 10-25 percent of our grapefruit on some groves."


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