Posts Tagged “Texas grapefruit shipments”
Following the historic February Freeze across Texas, the state’s grapefruit industry is feeling the destruction from the freezing weather.
Yahoo News reports the winter outbreak which hit the subtropical southeastern portion of the state on Valentine’s Day brought icy conditions and extreme cold temperatures damaging two different crops of grapefruit across the region.
This season’s crop of grapefruit, which had only been blooming at the time of the winter outbreak, is expected to provide less than a third of an average harvest.
Texas had been the number one provider of fresh grapefruit in the nation ahead of the outbreak, but the damage done to the groves has since dropped them down to third in the nation, Dale Murden, the president of Texas Citrus Mutual, a trade group that represents the interests of the state’s citrus growers, told AccuWeather’s National Reporter Bill Wadell.
Murden had also spoken with AccuWeather via email back during February. Also a grower, he had mentioned when temperatures dip below 28 degrees and stay below that mark for five hours or longer, the fruit on the branches begins to freeze on the inside, damaging the crop. “Most everyone” saw temperatures drop to at least 21 degrees, he had added.
Texas grapefruit trees encased in ice after a winter storm hammered the state with record cold.
The freeze had hit when the groves still had two crops on the trees — the fruit that was still being harvested and the following season’s crop that was beginning to flower. Murden estimated about 60% of the fruit had remained to be harvested at the time. However, winter’s scythe cut more significantly into the then-flowering groves’ crop that farmers are now waiting to harvest as fruit.
A lot of these groves were in full flower when that freeze hit,” Murden said. “So that legitimately hurt 100% of your next year’s crop — 70 to 80% on the average.”
Murden estimates they’ll have about 30% of a normal crop this harvest due to the freeze. The fruit that did survive was harvested closer to late November rather than when the season typically starts around mid-September into early October. The estimated total financial loss from the freeze hovers around $300 million.
Lower Rio Grande Valley grapefruit shipments overall are predicted to be down nearly 70 percent this season, thanks to a devastating freeze last February. Meanwhile, winter vegetable shipments are expected to be more normal.
Grapefruit and orange loading typically start in south Texas during October, but the Texas International Produce Associations reports the 2021 Valentine freeze resulted in a later-starting crop. That delayed shipments, finally picking up around Thanksgiving and winding down in March.
However, overall grapefruit shipments could be down by two-thirds from a normal season.
Struggling to find good news in the whole debacle, the association notes while the overall volume will be lighter, fruit size and quality should be good. Less fruit on the tree means larger sizes.
Lone Star Citrus Growers of Mission, TX reports much of the fruit is also hanging on the internal branches of the tree due to the outer canopy loss after the freeze. Hopefully, this will result in fewer outer blemishes caused by the wind.
The company increased its acreage for this season and expects to produce 75% of what it had last year. Lone Star Citrus, like other marketers, will operate on a condensed harvesting and packing schedule, allowing the firm to maximize efficiencies.
The operation contends despite the fierce freeze in February, the longer-term outlook for Texas citrus is positive and sees having 80 percent of a crop next season.
Lone Star Citrus markets grapefruit and a variety of orange varieties, including marrs, navel, pineapple and valencia.
Lone Star vegetable shipments kicked off with herbs in early November, with items ranging from cilantro to parsley, and cabbage, followed soon by kale.
Grow Farms Texas, Donna, TX, continues to grow its program in south Texas on both domestic and Mexico Grown products. Its cabbage survived last year’s February freeze, resulting in a great Saint Patrick’s day harvest. An even better crop is seen this year.
The company is looking at good cucumber and bell pepper production out of Mexico, along with increasing volume of eggplant and squash. It is increasing its hot peppers volume each year, led by jalapeno and serrano.
Citrus shipments for the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas are expected to continue through mid- to late May.
Wonderful Citrus, with offices in California and South Texas should be shipping Texas grapefruit and Texas oranges through May this season.
At Texas Citrus Mutual of Mission, about 40 percent of its grapefruit and 75 percent of its late oranges remained to be shipped as of March 25.
Total Texas grapefruit shipments forecast by the USDA stand at 6.2 million boxes for the 2018-19 season, up from 4.8 million boxes in 2017-18.
South Texas Organics of Mission, said it should finish with it’s organic valencia orange shipments as well as its Rio Star grapefruit the last half of April.
The USDA reports through the middle of March season-to-date domestic shipments of Texas grapefruit totaled 134.7 million pounds, down from 172.3 million pounds a year ago. Total shipments last season were 205.6 million pounds.
Texas export shipments of grapefruit totaled 10.1 million pounds by mid-March, down from 14.6 million pounds a year ago. Total grapefruit export shipments a year ago were 15.2 million pounds.
Texas Orange Shipments
Texas orange shipments through mid-March were 69.6 million pounds, off from 99.2 million pounds at the same time a year ago.
Total Texas orange shipments last season totaled 121.9 million pounds, the USDA reports.
In December, the USDA predicted Texas all-orange output for 2018-19 at 2.4 million boxes, up from 1.88 million boxes in the 2017-18 season.
Caution is recommended for hauling onions out of the Northwest, including Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Weather problems earlier in the year are being blamed.
Meanwhile, quality apparently is much better for onion shipments out of Utah and Colorado. Loadings involve red, white and yellow storage onions. Northeast Colorado onion shipments will continue through the end of the year and Utah onion shipments will be available into February.
Imported Peruvian sweet onions continues, with the heaviest volume being available through Thanksgiving. Lighter volume imports of onions from Peru will continue into February.
Western Idaho and Malheur County, Oregon onions – grossing about $3400 to Dallas.
Columbia Basin, Washington, potatoes and onions – grossing about $4200 to Chicago.
South Texas Produce Shipments
Texas grapefruit shipments and Texas orange shipments from the Lower Rio Grande Valley got underway a couple of weeks ago and are moving into steady volume. Total volume this season is expected to be about normal. There also are numerous items from Mexico crossing the border into Pharr, TX. There’s over 600 truck loads of avocados and nearly 400 truck loads of limes crossing the border weekly. There ‘s also lesser amounts of lemons and other items.
South Texas citrus and imported Mexican tropical fruit – grossing about $2500 to Chicago, $3900 to New York City.
The trendy vegetable item kale will continue to be shipped from the Salinas Valley, while loadings out of Yuma, AZ will start in mid November, along with several other desert vegetable shipments such as lettuce.
Sweet onion shipments from Mexico and Texas are expected to start later than normal this year. By contrast, in the Northwest storage onion shipments could last longer than normal simply because there is such a big volume.
Mexican sweet onions shipments are expected to start crossing the border into South Texas in good volume by the middle of March, which would be three to four weeks later than normal. South Texas sweet onions also are behind schedule and should get underway around mid to late March…..Meanwhile, imports of sweet onions from Peru are expected to wrap up by the end of February.
Meanwhile, there’s dozens of other items crossing the border from Mexico into the Lower Rio Grand Valley. Mexican avocado shipments are averaging over 500 truck loads per week. There also are lesser amounts of produce shipments ranging from Mexican strawberries and limes to tropical fruits and vegetables.
While much of the Texas produce growing over the past couple of decades has shifted to south of the border, South Texas growing operations are still in business.
Texas grapefruit shipments are averaging around 200 trucks loads weekly, with Texas oranges amounting to roughly one-half this amount…..The Lower Rio Grande Valley, as well as the Winter Garden District, which is closer to San Antonio, are shipping cabbage in light, but increasing volume.
South Texas produce shipments – grossing about $2800 to Chicago and $4700 to New York City.