Shipping started the first full week of October and will continue until April. While volume is still light, it is increasing and should be “normal” heading into November.
The Lower Rio Grande Valley has about 28,000 acres of citrus trees. With new plantings, over 30,000 of trees or expected in the next few years. These new plantings should result in greater yields, which could mean a 10 percent increase in potential shipments over the next several years. About eight million cartons are expected to be shipped this year.
Broken down, those eight million cartons are comprised of about 75 percent red grapefruit and 25 percent oranges. Last year, Texas shipped about 7.8 million cartons of citrus.
Though some groves are still coming out of production, the Texas citrus industry is gaining acreage.
Two devastating freezes in the 1980s, urbanization, marketing conditions and other factors drastically reduced the number of acres devoted to citrus in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, where grapefruit flourished for decades. But in the past decade, investment in the industry has been on the rise, which has led to some consolidation and increased plantings.
Mexican fruit and vegetable imports at Pharr, Tx, plus South Texas citrus – grossing about $2400 to Chicago.