Good weather conditions have moved up the start of the Florida citrus season, and growers are seeing good sizing and Brix this year. “We got started in early September with our two main products, which are Florida pummelos and Florida tangerines. We started about two weeks earlier than normal for the tangerines and everything seems to be about two weeks ahead this season. But the market was ready for the early start, with the California Valencia season wrapping up early, so it’s been a good season so far,” says Adam Roe of Noble Citrus.
Strong citrus demand continues
The general citrus demand in the US has been really good, mostly due to the increased interest from consumers fueled by the pandemic. In addition to higher consumer demand, government efforts to support the industry have also helped the market. “The USDA Food Box program helped to tighten up the market, as well as some other various USDA purchasing programs for oranges. Right now, we’re seeing demand soften a little bit, as the Food Box program will close out soon, but overall demand has been high,” Roe shares.
Noble Citrus’ main citrus volumes come from pummelos and tangerines. “The retailers have been really happy about the pummelo this year, and we see that for us the highest demand is for the pummelos,” Roe says. “The market overall has been excited for the domestic citrus this year,” he adds. Noble Citrus also exports their products to Canada, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, but their main focus is on the domestic US market.
Spring weather will determine when season ends
Right now, Noble Citrus is supplying all three of their citrus products: pummelos, tangerines and oranges. “Through February, we’ll be really busy and then after that it’ll start to level off a bit. Following February, we’ll only have the oranges which could run through June or July, depending on the weather we see in the spring,” says Roe.
“We’re fortunate to have a lot of new acreage come into fruition this ear, and the general volumes for the state’s fresh fruit should be up,” Roe says. “It’s an exciting year for citrus. We’ve seen a lot of people get excited about Florida citrus again, and that’s really invigorating for us. On top of that, we have had great fruit quality to match the excitement, so it’s going to be a good season,” he concludes.