Early into navel season, fruit slow to colour

Even though the crop is estimated to be off from last season, there will still be plenty of navel oranges. “There won’t be any shortages until we run out,” said Randy Jacobson of Cecelia’s Packing Corporation. The fall weather has been unusually warm for California’s orange groves and fruit has been slow to colour. “What really makes the colour break is the colder nights,” he said. Temperatures ideally need to be in the low 40s high 30s. 

Eating quality will be very good and brix is high. “The sugar levels are high for this time of year and, as we progress, I think that will carry through the bulk of the larger varieties” including Washington navels. “There is a battle for shelf space,” he said. “There are certain items that have become very popular in the last few years, which creates a lot of competition.” With Florida suffering due to citrus greening disease and producing less fruit each year (oranges and grapefruit), the biggest competition, he says, is the California navel orange. 

Jacobson will be working on navels primarily through November; Cara Caras will start late in the month, possibly in early December and blood oranges will ideally start the third week of December, then Heirlooms around January 1st. 

For more information:
Randy Jacobson
Cecilia Packing Corporation
Ph: 559-626-7411

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