VOL. 25, NO. 7
IN THIS ISSUE:
Juice Pools 101
Texas Citrus Exchange recently completed the sales of grapefruit and orange juices and by-products from the 2009-10 crops. Checks to the participating packinghouses were sent in early June, so growers should have received juice return checks by now. I have heard a couple of questions suggesting that many growers don’t fully understand the process by which packinghouse eliminations are converted into juice checks.
First, let’s go back to basics. All packinghouses (I think) charge a shrinkage on whatever fruit they bring in, usually five percent of the total tons. That volume of fruit is gone, period, as if it never existed—so forget about it. The remaining 95 percent of the harvest goes through the packingline where it is ultimately graded, sized and packed, with some being eliminated, and you are credited for the carton equivalents of fresh packout and tons of eliminations. The eliminations go to processing.
Some of the fruit that reaches TCX is rejected, primarily because it is unsound (damaged or rotting), which amount is deducted from the volume that the packer sent. How the packer handles this cull factor is something you would have to discuss with the packer. At any rate, the sound fruit is weighed and processed, byproducts are extracted, some juice is concentrated, some is kept as single strength, some is blended with other juices and all of it is sold over the next year to year and a half or more.
You (through your packer) participate in the juice process, which means that you share the risk of low juice prices and high production costs in exchange for the potential gain from higher juice prices and lower production costs. That also means that you must wait for the pool closing in order to receive full payment for your juice fruit. The alternative to participation is for TCX to simply buy the fruit as it comes in, but you can be sure that the price paid would be sufficiently low to attenuate the risk of paying too much and then seeing production costs go up and/or the value of juice and by-products go down.
Finally, when all juice and by-products returns are in and all costs of processing, storage, and sales are deducted, the net money is divided by the total tonnage of fruit involved. For the 2009-10 season, the result was about $99.686 per ton for grapefruit and $112.619 per ton for oranges (the number goes out five decimal places).
But your juice check wasn’t that big, was it? Of course not—you (through your packer) were credited for the spot price ($40 per ton for grapefruit, $56 per ton for oranges) at the time your fruit was sent to TCX; and the juice pool payout represents the total return, so checks from TCX were for the balance (about $59.68 for grapefruit and $56.62 for oranges).
Each participating packer pays a service fee to TCX for each ton at delivery. After rebates for volume processed, the service fee on the 2009-10 tonnage was $6.71. It is reasonable to assume that the packer passed the service fee through to you—either when it was incurred or in the final payout.
Finally, not all eliminations go to TCX. Indeed, according to TVCC data, TCX received only 84.1 percent of the grapefruit eliminations and barely half (50.4 percent) of the orange eliminations during 2009-10. Obviously, TCX juice pool closings represent only the fruit that TCX processed—the rest is between you and your packer.
(Note: The preceding article was also published in the Citrus Center Newsletter in late June.)
The Rain is Tess…
Apparently, the rains originated from a tropical wave that came across the Yucatan and the western Gulf. Not to be outdone, a second tropical wave developed this week and turned into Tropical Storm Arlene with estimated 65 mph winds at landfall just south of Tampico this morning (June 30). Heavy rains and attendant flooding through Central Mexico are anticipated. Being on the northern fringes, the Valley is expecting persistent, locally heavy rains into the weekend.
I was informed last week that Alion, a new pre-emergent herbicide from Bayer CropScience, has been labeled for use in citrus. This product is a cellulose-biosynthesis inhibitor (CBI), which means it inhibits crystalline cellulose deposition in cell walls, thus restricting cell wall formation, cell elongation and cell division.
The active ingredient is indaziflam; and the formulation contains 19.05 percent AI, or 1.67 pounds per gallon. Use rate is 5.0 ounces per acre, with no more than two applications per year. According to the preliminary label, citrus must be established at least one year before application. Because it has no post-emergence activity, existing vegetation must be targeted with a post-emergence material.
Alion has broad spectrum action on a number of annual grasses and broadleaf weed species. While not listed on the label, it appears to suppress possum grape germination, and we are hoping to test it against other problem vines such as morning glory, clematis and milkweed.
There is every indication that the February freeze and the extreme dry weather during the first half of this year have adversely affected this season’s crop. While many expected the crop to be up, it is beginning to look a little short on all varieties. Rios are showing some tendency to sheepnose at this time, but it is too early to tell if this trend will reverse before harvest.
I would caution that it is still early to start making bold forecasts about the ultimate volume. Fruit set is complete, of course, but its green color and current size makes the fruit fairly hard to see. Hopefully, the situation will become clearer as we near the end of summer.
Sunki Mandarin X Swingle Trifoliate Stocks
The Sunki mandarin X Swingle trifoliate (trifoliate, NOT citrumelo) rootstocks that were developed in California include C-22 (‘Bitters’), C-54 (‘Carpenter’), C-57 (‘Furr’) and C-146. Three of these were tested in Texas and the results reported by Louzada et al. of the Citrus Center in 2008 (‘Carpenter’ was not in the test). All have good to moderate freeze tolerance, moderate tolerance to Phytophthora, and make a smallish (C-22) or medium to large tree. All produced substantially better than sour orange, tolerate calcareous soils and all are resistant to citrus tristeza virus.
C-22 is the one most favored by Texas growers at the moment and it is planned for a number of comparative plantings across the Valley. Scion varieties will be Rio Red and a potential new red grapefruit (the one that is currently being called Texas Red, which Marty Robbins fans will recognize as the name of the outlaw in “Big Iron”).
Seed for these stocks is hard to come by, as the only ones at present come from the Citrus Center and most of their production is going into the planned new tests. It is possible that Willits & Newcomb or other seed sources in California may have limited quantities, but no seed can be brought from Florida, even if there were a good source there.
Texas Produce Convention
This annual meeting is scheduled for August 17-19 at the Isla Grand Beach Resort on South Padre Island. Contact Texas Citrus Mutual, Texas Vegetable Association or the Texas Produce Association for details and registration.
There is an allied, extra program entitled “Food Safety: Traceability & Recall Management Workshop” scheduled for the afternoon of August 17, with an additional $35 registration fee. The rest of the program focuses on produce marketing, the next farm bill and changes in Austin, and the e-verify legislation that is pending.
Naturally, there is a golf tournament Wednesday morning, an opening reception Wednesday night, a casino night/silent auction on Thursday night, an awards breakfast on Friday morning and the expo/trade show at various times throughout.
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 IS IMPLIED.
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