California’s primary orange citrus growing region, the Central Valley (also known as the San Joaquin Valley), is receiving another series of rain events which started Wednesday, January 18, and will run through early Monday, January 23. Rainfall totals are forecast to be in the range of 2-3”. If all three storms arrive as forecast, growers will not be able to harvest until Wednesday or Thursday, January 25 or 26, when groves have dried out enough for harvesting to resume.
Quality concerns due to rain:
- The cells on the rind absorb more water than they can hold
- When a harvesters’ hand grabs the fruit to pick, it causes the outer cells to rupture, which then turns the ruptured cells a yellowish color
- This will eventually cause the rind to breakdown leading to shortened shelf life
- Navel orange inventories, in particular, are quickly being depleted this week
- Most citrus suppliers expect shortfalls on Monday, January 23, and have stopped taking new Navel orange orders until harvesting crews resume picking
- Lemon stocks are in a much better position
- Low demand during the winter months, and multiple lemon growing regions in California, and Arizona, allows for greater flexibility of harvest
Expect to see supply shortages starting early next week on Navel orange orders. Flexibility on size, grade, and variety may be needed for order coverage; possible substitution options include Cara Cara oranges, Moro-Blood oranges, and organic oranges which will also be subject to availability due to rain.
Markon will continue to keep you updated as the storm progresses. Please contact your customer service representative for more information.
©2017 Markon Cooperative, Inc. All rights reserved.