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."