VOL. 23, NO. 2
IN THIS ISSUE:
CITRUS FIESTA YOUTH SHOW
FRUIT UTILIZATION SUMMARY
Spring flush is just around the corner, so growers are continuing to apply fertilizer, starting to water and thinking about applications of herbicides and Temik. The way the weather has been, all of these operations will be necessary in the very near future if they haven’t already been done.
While fertilizer prices have come down, it should be noted that dealers still have some of the higher-priced material in inventory. Obviously, dealers have to move their higher-priced inventory before bringing in the cheaper stuff, so local costs will not necessarily be as low as you might expect. The upshot is that dealers will likely take a bit of a loss on the current inventory.
CITRUS FIESTA YOUTH SHOW
For the first time in history, orange varieties captured both the Grand Champion and Reserve Champion prizes at the Citrus Fiesta Youth Show. Grand Champion was awarded to an exhibit of Valencia oranges entered by Kyle Vale of Sharyland FFA. Reserve Champion was awarded to an exhibit of Jaffa oranges entered by Eduardo Rios of Sharyland FFA.
Savannah Anciso of Deep River 4-H took the Sweepstakes Award for amassing the most points based on placings of all varieties entered. The Grower Award (similar to the Sweepstakes Award for exhibitors) went to Sharyland Orchards.
In the Identification (30 different varieties and types of citrus) and Judging contests (two classes of grapefruit and one class of oranges), the team from Mission FFA won the Senior Division, another team from Mission FFA won the Junior Division, while the team from Veterans Memorial FFA took the Sub-Junior Division. High point individuals in each of the three divisions were all from Mission FFA—Alejandra Reta in the Senior Division, Jesus Fuentes in the Junior Division and Jorge A. Garcia in the Sub-Junior Division.
The total number of entries (555) was down from the last few years, even though the weather in the weeks preceding the show was very good for youth to get out into groves and collect fruit. The biggest decrease was in orange varieties—there were only a handful of entries of each of Marrs, navel, Hamlin, Pineapple and Jaffa. Adult leaders with the show indicated that their kids were saying that most of the early and mid-season varieties had already been picked in the orchards where they usually collect fruit.
Still, the number of entries in the non-commercial varieties of oranges, mandarins, kumquats, limes and lemons et cetera was very limited. Indeed, of the 50 kinds and varieties of citrus that can be entered, Rio Red and Valencia oranges led all other varieties with 50-60 entries—and that was almost equal to or greater than the combined number of entries of all other grapefruit or oranges.
FRUIT UTILIZATION SUMMARY
Through the middle of January, the Texas Valley Citrus Committee reported that grapefruit shipments were at 90.3 percent of the volume of the previous season, while early orange volume was 107.2 percent of last season and navel volume was at 99.5 percent. Volumes to juice have been well behind a year ago, with grapefruit volume to processing at 77.6 percent of last season, and orange volume to processing at 60.6 percent of last season.
Overall, grapefruit diverted to processing represented 30 percent of the total harvest, while oranges diverted to processing accounted for about 14 percent of the total harvest. Turn those figures around and what you get is packouts in the range of 70 percent for grapefruit and 86 percent for oranges.
The remaining supply (in relation to the estimated total) was 57.4 percent of grapefruit, 34.0 percent of earlies and all the Valencias. It bears repeating that these data were for January 17. Rumor is that most of the earlies, navels and mids are expected to run out any day now, which may have some basis in fact, since some Valencias were picked the last week of January.
It is also worthy to note that the USDA crop estimate for Texas grapefruit was increased by 7.5 percent while the orange estimate was increased by 11.5 percent. This updated estimate was effective January 12. Essentially, the revisions to the estimate mean that the current crop is now estimated to be down only 6 percent for grapefruit and only 5 percent for oranges, versus the 13 percent that was originally forecast for each back in October. That the estimate has been changed is no guarantee that more fruit is out there, however.
Bayer has a new broad spectrum material that is fairly effective on a number of sucking pests of citrus, according to data presented by company reps at a grower meeting at Cimarron Country Club a couple of weeks ago. Movento is especially good for psyllid control, and does pretty well on other insects, including aphids, whiteflies, scales and leafminer (adults).
Bayer’s thought is that Movento will fit into the spring spray window of late May as part of an overall psyllid control effort as a follow up to Temik and before the summer spray (Note that Florida can apply Temik starting at mid-November, while Texas cannot apply until January 1). Given differences between programs in Florida and Texas, it would still appear to be a good fit in our spring spray (in a non-Temik program), but may not be the best choice for a summer spray (you would still need a miticide) following typical Temik applications in Texas.
It must be applied with an adjuvant because of the large molecular size of spirotetramat, the active ingredient. Citrus spray oil is good, as is a 90/10 non-ionic surfactant. Methylated seed oil also works at a rate of 0.25 percent (a quart per 100 gallons). It has not been tested with CitriKing oil as yet.
FEDERAL QUARANTINE EXPANSION
Because Asian citrus psyllid has been detected in almost 60 counties across Texas, of the nearly 110 counties in which citrus has been located, APHIS has revised its Federal Order on January 28, 2009, from the original 32 counties that were under both federal and state quarantine to prohibit the spread of psyllid. The new quarantine, Federal Order DA-2009-06, places the entire state of Texas under federal quarantine for the Asian citrus psyllid. As such, the state quarantine is no longer necessary.
Thus, intrastate movement of citrus nursery plants and budwood is allowable. However, such movement into the eight-county area of deep south Texas is still regulated. Those eight counties are Zapata, Jim Hogg, Brooks, Kenedy, Willacy, Cameron, Hidalgo and Starr, which is the so-called commercial citrus zone.
JULIAN W. SAULS, Ph.D.
Professor & Extension Horticulturist
2401 East Highway 83
Weslaco TX 78596
THE INFORMATION GIVEN HEREIN IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES
ONLY. REFERENCE TO COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS OR TRADE NAMES IS MADE WITH THE
UNDERSTANDING THAT NO DISCRIMINATION IS INTENDED AND NO ENDORSEMENT BY
THE COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE IS IMPLIED.
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