Growers blame smaller fruit, lower volume on summer heat | News – Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California 2021-11-27 21:00:00 –

This year’s citrus fruits are suffering from hotter summer damage than usual.

Local producers say that some oranges are significantly smaller in size and quantity, which is sufficient to reduce sales for both reasons.

However, as harvests are expected to continue until early next year, it is difficult to know how the market will react and what the net economic impact will be on the ground.

Brian Grant, Executive Vice President of Rio Bravo Ranch at the mouth of the Kern River Canyon, said: He added that this year’s citrus quality seems to be better than last year.

Grant et al. Believe that the volume has decreased due to persistent seizures of high fever a few months ago.

“Sure, we seem to have had a really hot and dry summer,” he said.

It is not yet known if next summer will be as hot as it is, but farmers have long predicted the effects of changing weather patterns, apart from the drought.

In many cases, if the tree does not get enough “chill hours”, it will have a negative effect. Therefore, sustained heat can also impair output. It is worth noting that at extreme temperatures, some varieties are superior to others.

Producers notice that they are getting worse. Farmers generally stay in business only if they are willing to put up with the dramatic changes from one year to the next.

“We are accustomed to these fluctuations. We are planning these fluctuations,” said citrus grower Dennis Johnston, a partner at Johnston Farm in the Edison region.

Johnston blames the tonnage that has recently come to light and the summer heat of smaller fruits than before. He estimates the impact on sales to date from 5% to 10%.

“It was so hot that it stopped growing in August and wasn’t very effective in September,” he said. “Generally above 100 degrees, trees begin to worry about staying alive.”

Johnston says that the low amount of fruit so far, in contrast to the heat that limits the size of oranges, is related to the fact that the orchards weren’t cold enough and there was rainfall last winter. I suggested it might be.

Grant of Rio Bravo Ranch said the navel orchard seems to be doing better than the surrounding citrus operations he hears. It’s smaller in size, but not so much, but I’m not sure because the packing house he’s working with picks the biggest fruit first, hoping that the rest will “size up.”

Clementine looks short this year, but he said it’s hard to know for sure. He added that lack of water is probably not a major factor as the surgery is in good water position.

Matt Fischer, a citrus grower in Kern County who predicted that reducing the amount of this crop would significantly reduce his income, felt some irony in this situation.

He said the demand for large Valencia oranges this summer was not as strong as the smaller Valencia oranges, as the restaurant was buying small fruits.

Due to the high temperatures and low water, California may not be able to continue to grow large fruits and the market needs to be adjusted. “Frankly, small fruits taste better. That’s my point of view.”

But he added, “The American way is always better the bigger it is.”

Fisher likened this year’s harvest to the 2014-15 harvest, but for some reason it still feels like a “new territory” due to its small size and low volume.

What happens next depends largely on how much rainfall the region gets this winter and how the region’s groundwater sustainability plan works.

“Peasants are made for things like this. You only go your own way every year,” he said. “Uncertainty is our world.”

Growers blame smaller fruit, lower volume on summer heat | News Source link Growers blame smaller fruit, lower volume on summer heat | News

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