Heavy Rains Affect Citrus Harvest
We are experiencing heavy rain in California this week and we can always use more. The citrus harvest has certainly been affected such as the Satsuma Mandarin, Clementine and Navel crop. The rain has made it cumbersome for the workers and tractors to get out on the muddy ground. Standing on the wet soggy orchard floor also compacts the soil which is not good for the tree’s roots. One of the biggest worries from a grower’s standpoint is that the rain will cause the citrus to be waterlogged which can cause molding, possible rind breakdown and a shorter shelf life. The tree takes in extra water making the fruit super hydrated and diluting the sugars. The grower needs to wait a few days for the dry weather to disperse the sugars again before picking. An additional concern is that if the fruit were to be picked when it is wet the oil from the workers hands would leave fingerprints and the pressure would cause the fruit to stay yellow instead of orange.
We are expecting rain throughout California until Thursday. We may or may not see gaps on varietal citrus in the coming weeks due to the rain. Stay tuned for updates!