VOL. 23, NO. 9
IN THIS ISSUE:
EARLY FLORIDA CROP ESTIMATES
MEXICO'S CITRUS GREENING
Early Florida Crop Estimates
Elizabeth Steger’s mid-August estimate of the 2009-10 season Florida orange crop came in at 154 million boxes, causing no small degree of surprise among FCOJ futures traders and industry observers. Because most analysts and observers expect fewer than 150 million boxes to be produced, Steger’s higher estimate triggered substantial declines in FCOJ futures prices.
Short term forecasts for hurricane season show no significant threat to Florida through August, but that could change, as the season didn’t really get active until near mid-August with the development of Ana, Bill and Claudette, with only Bill having reached hurricane strength.
The Louis Dreyfus estimate that followed Steger’s by about a week came in at 141 million boxes, substantially lower than that of Steger. For comparative purposes, the 2008-09 season totaled 162.1 million boxes.
California has developed a new, near-seedless tangerine that they have named ‘Daisy SL’, with SL standing for seedless. It matures in California from about mid-December into February. It will be quite a while before this variety becomes available outside the state.
Mexico’s Citrus Greening
Since the first reports in July of “hot” psyllids in Tizimin, Yucatan, subsequent reports confirm the presence of the bacterium in a number of citrus trees in the same locale. Only time will tell how extensive is the spread from there, but it is now certain that Texas citrus faces a potential two-pronged front in its on-going effort to protect itself against the introduction of citrus greening.
California has confirmed the presence of Asian citrus psyllid in both Orange County and Los Angeles County. The continued spread of ACP in California is sad, as it shows that despite the most stringent of efforts to contain the insect to the border counties, it still got out of the containment area.
In other news, a sniffer dog hit a FedEx package in Sacramento that contained curry leaves and guava. The bad news is that the curry leaves contained more than 100 nymphs and adult psyllids. The other bad news is that the package apparently originated in Houston, TX, and was supposed to contain a piece of machinery.
SITC has traced the package back and determined that the curry from which the leaves originated was grown on site, the plant having been bought in Pasadena several years ago.
These psyllids are being tested for citrus greening bacterium, with results expected next week.
With September here at last, hopefully we will see the end of the daily triple digit temperatures that have occurred for the last several months. Indeed, the weather has turned a bit and the promise of rain is finally being realized, with some showers over the last couple of days. The forecast calls for more, which is certainly needed.
While the Gulf/Atlantic hurricane season has been rather quiet so far, with only five named storms, the Pacific is already up to 11 with Jimena and Kevin. Jimena has weakened a bit today, but is still bearing down on the Baja California Penisula. If this storm follows the currently projected pattern, it could spin up into the Southwestern US.
Meanwhile, Erika is out in the Atlantic nearing the Leeward Islands, with today’s wind speeds clocked at 50 mph. She is on a course that appears to skirt the northern edge of the string of islands that leads up to the Bahamas.
The citrus greening/citrus psyllid task force has concluded its work of developing the official state plan for Texas. It was submitted August 28 to Commissioner Todd Staples of Texas Department of Agriculture and to other officials. TCM has emailed copies to everyone involved in the planning effort.
The extreme temperatures of the last few weeks have stymied the normal fruit enlargement that we should have seen already. However, as temperatures cool a bit, and a few more rains occur, you should expect to see the fruit start to increase in size quite rapidly. Throw in the shortening daylengths and the fruit will start to mature as well.
The feds are still receiving public comments regarding their proposal to allow Florida fresh citrus back into Texas, California and other citrus-producing areas this fall. The protests by California Citrus Mutual and Texas Citrus Mutual are likely to fall on deaf ears, which means that as soon as the public comment period is over, the feds will announce the final rule. While it is not a “done deal”, everyone expects the final rule to allow Florida fruit into other citrus-producing areas.
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
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