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California citrus crop escapes frost damage

The much-feared devastating freezing temperatures didn’t quite materialize in California’s San Joaquin Valley over the last few nights, and consequently the California citrus crop experienced little damage.

Below-freezing temperatures did prevail for several nights, necessitating the use of frost-protection tools, but the needle didn’t drop low enough or the cold hang around long enough to produce serious damage.

For damage to occur to Mandarin oranges on the tree, temperatures need to stay below 32 degrees for at least four hours. Navel oranges, with their thicker skin, typically don’t experience much damage until temperatures drop to the mid-20s for that four-hour threshold.

Many citrus-growing areas did see temperatures drop into the 20s but only for short periods of time. And most growers were able to use wind machines and irrigation systems to raised grove temperatures a few degrees during critical periods.

On the morning of Jan. 1, California Citrus Mutual President Joel Nelsen said that growers had survived what ended up being the worst of the nights.

“Growers initiated frost protection by 10 p.m. (the night before) in most cases,” he said. “No doubt the early start helped keep temperatures higher throughout the night and with lows not reaching 26 degrees, except in the coldest unprotected areas, we conclude it was a long night but a safe night.”

He added that producers of Mandarins and lemons ran their equipment for about 10 hours that night, with Navel orange growers needing about six hours of frost-protection action.

Some of the areas that typically get the coldest have already been harvested.

“Thirty days makes a difference,” Nelsen said. “Last season a major freeze event occurred the first week of December, thereby creating much more vulnerability for the industry. The past 30 days significant tonnage was harvested from those historic areas of low temperatures, thereby eliminating potential loss.”

The lower cost of fuel this year also helped in the battle as the cost of running the wind machines was considerably less than a year ago.

As the new year dawned, warmer temperatures were in the forecast for the next week and citrus harvest and packing operations were expected to return to normal levels.

The crop estimate for the 2014-15 Navel orange season is 78 million cartons in the San Joaquin Valley and another 5 million cartons in Southern California. Approximately 25 percent of the orange crop has been harvested.

Mandarin tonnage is estimated to be 50 million five-pound cartons this year and approximately 70 percent of the crop remains on the tree.

The California lemon crop has been estimated at 45 million cartons with the vast majority of the lemon tonnage in Ventura County and still on the tree.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

California citrus crop escapes frost damage

The much-feared devastating freezing temperatures didn’t quite materialize in California’s San Joaquin Valley over the last few nights, and consequently the California citrus crop experienced little damage.

Below-freezing temperatures did prevail for several nights, necessitating the use of frost-protection tools, but the needle didn’t drop low enough or the cold hang around long enough to produce serious damage.

For damage to occur to Mandarin oranges on the tree, temperatures need to stay below 32 degrees for at least four hours. Navel oranges, with their thicker skin, typically don’t experience much damage until temperatures drop to the mid-20s for that four-hour threshold.

Many citrus-growing areas did see temperatures drop into the 20s but only for short periods of time. And most growers were able to use wind machines and irrigation systems to raised grove temperatures a few degrees during critical periods.

On the morning of Jan. 1, California Citrus Mutual President Joel Nelsen said that growers had survived what ended up being the worst of the nights.

“Growers initiated frost protection by 10 p.m. (the night before) in most cases,” he said. “No doubt the early start helped keep temperatures higher throughout the night and with lows not reaching 26 degrees, except in the coldest unprotected areas, we conclude it was a long night but a safe night.”

He added that producers of Mandarins and lemons ran their equipment for about 10 hours that night, with Navel orange growers needing about six hours of frost-protection action.

Some of the areas that typically get the coldest have already been harvested.

“Thirty days makes a difference,” Nelsen said. “Last season a major freeze event occurred the first week of December, thereby creating much more vulnerability for the industry. The past 30 days significant tonnage was harvested from those historic areas of low temperatures, thereby eliminating potential loss.”

The lower cost of fuel this year also helped in the battle as the cost of running the wind machines was considerably less than a year ago.

As the new year dawned, warmer temperatures were in the forecast for the next week and citrus harvest and packing operations were expected to return to normal levels.

The crop estimate for the 2014-15 Navel orange season is 78 million cartons in the San Joaquin Valley and another 5 million cartons in Southern California. Approximately 25 percent of the orange crop has been harvested.

Mandarin tonnage is estimated to be 50 million five-pound cartons this year and approximately 70 percent of the crop remains on the tree.

The California lemon crop has been estimated at 45 million cartons with the vast majority of the lemon tonnage in Ventura County and still on the tree.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

California citrus crop escapes frost damage

The much-feared devastating freezing temperatures didn’t quite materialize in California’s San Joaquin Valley over the last few nights, and consequently the California citrus crop experienced little damage.

Below-freezing temperatures did prevail for several nights, necessitating the use of frost-protection tools, but the needle didn’t drop low enough or the cold hang around long enough to produce serious damage.

For damage to occur to Mandarin oranges on the tree, temperatures need to stay below 32 degrees for at least four hours. Navel oranges, with their thicker skin, typically don’t experience much damage until temperatures drop to the mid-20s for that four-hour threshold.

Many citrus-growing areas did see temperatures drop into the 20s but only for short periods of time. And most growers were able to use wind machines and irrigation systems to raised grove temperatures a few degrees during critical periods.

On the morning of Jan. 1, California Citrus Mutual President Joel Nelsen said that growers had survived what ended up being the worst of the nights.

“Growers initiated frost protection by 10 p.m. (the night before) in most cases,” he said. “No doubt the early start helped keep temperatures higher throughout the night and with lows not reaching 26 degrees, except in the coldest unprotected areas, we conclude it was a long night but a safe night.”

He added that producers of Mandarins and lemons ran their equipment for about 10 hours that night, with Navel orange growers needing about six hours of frost-protection action.

Some of the areas that typically get the coldest have already been harvested.

“Thirty days makes a difference,” Nelsen said. “Last season a major freeze event occurred the first week of December, thereby creating much more vulnerability for the industry. The past 30 days significant tonnage was harvested from those historic areas of low temperatures, thereby eliminating potential loss.”

The lower cost of fuel this year also helped in the battle as the cost of running the wind machines was considerably less than a year ago.

As the new year dawned, warmer temperatures were in the forecast for the next week and citrus harvest and packing operations were expected to return to normal levels.

The crop estimate for the 2014-15 Navel orange season is 78 million cartons in the San Joaquin Valley and another 5 million cartons in Southern California. Approximately 25 percent of the orange crop has been harvested.

Mandarin tonnage is estimated to be 50 million five-pound cartons this year and approximately 70 percent of the crop remains on the tree.

The California lemon crop has been estimated at 45 million cartons with the vast majority of the lemon tonnage in Ventura County and still on the tree.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Hail damage to New Zealand kiwi production limited

According to Oliver Broad, Communications Manager for Zespri
Hail damage to New Zealand kiwi production limited

During early November, three kiwifruit-growing regions in New Zealand were struck by hail, Although it was feared that the hail may have adversely affected the kiwifruit growing season, the damage to the country’s largest horticultural export should be limited, according to Oliver Broad of Zespri.

“We expect the loss to be less than 1%,  so not a significant loss of the total crop. According to many growers, hail at this time of year is unusual, so it did come as a surprise. For green kiwifruit in particular we are pre-fruit set, so we don’t have fruit on the vine yet, so where there has been an impact it is due to buds being knocked off, or damage to the leaf cover.

“The two main regions affected were Nelson and the Bay of Plenty, in the Tauranga and Welcome Bay areas. We’ve had notifications from growers that 110 orchards were affected by the hail damage. Whilst this can be significant for the individuals, we don’t expect significant impact on a national scale. The hail insurance scheme we have for Zespri has however kicked into place for our growers and we are working through that now.

“The rest of the season so far has been good, and we are looking forward to a December estimate, which will give us a more accurate forecast of production volumes. In the large scheme of things, as a company, we are expecting to increase our production this year, and to continue to do so with significant volumes over the next few years, especially with Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit.

“The total supply from Zespri during 2014 was over 90 million trays of kiwifruit, and the outlook for this season is to the tune of 100 million trays, with strong increases in volume over the coming years.

The main driver of our volume growth is the increase in supply of gold kiwifruit, which will reach around 30 million trays in 2015 and over 50 million trays by 2018.”

For more information:
Oliver Broad
Zespri International Limited
Tel: +64 27 509 1839
[email protected]
www.zespri.com

Publication date: 11/18/2014
Author: Katja Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Typhoon in Okinawa causes minimum mango and pineapple damage

Typhoon in Okinawa causes minimum mango and pineapple damage

Last Tuesday, the powerful typhoon Neoguri hit the Japanese island chain of Okinawa, bringing torrential rain and winds of up to 252km/h. The typhoon is also expected to reach the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, posing a serious risk of heavy rain and flooding.

The typhoon has arrived at the start of Miyakojima’s mango harvest period, although growers were prepared, as a “special alert” is given for such storms. “No fruit has fallen from the trees; however, there may be indirect damage, as the planes loaded with harvested mangoes are not able to depart, and are thus likely to become over-ripe and not reach the client within 4 days after the harvest” said a mango grower.

Another grower, founder of Daihari Farms, explains that “I had only harvested 10% of the fruit so far, which at the moment is kept in cool chambers. The fruit’s freshness will hopefully not be too affected until the typhoon passes and flights can be resumed.”

Other crops, including sugarcane and pineapple, have also been affected, although the damage is expected to stay to a minimum.

Publication date: 7/9/2014
Author: Juan Zea Estellés
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Typhoon in Okinawa causes minimum mango and pineapple damage

Typhoon in Okinawa causes minimum mango and pineapple damage

Last Tuesday, the powerful typhoon Neoguri hit the Japanese island chain of Okinawa, bringing torrential rain and winds of up to 252km/h. The typhoon is also expected to reach the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, posing a serious risk of heavy rain and flooding.

The typhoon has arrived at the start of Miyakojima’s mango harvest period, although growers were prepared, as a “special alert” is given for such storms. “No fruit has fallen from the trees; however, there may be indirect damage, as the planes loaded with harvested mangoes are not able to depart, and are thus likely to become over-ripe and not reach the client within 4 days after the harvest” said a mango grower.

Another grower, founder of Daihari Farms, explains that “I had only harvested 10% of the fruit so far, which at the moment is kept in cool chambers. The fruit’s freshness will hopefully not be too affected until the typhoon passes and flights can be resumed.”

Other crops, including sugarcane and pineapple, have also been affected, although the damage is expected to stay to a minimum.

Publication date: 7/9/2014
Author: Juan Zea Estellés
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

NEJM Article: Supplements Need Review Before They Can Do Damage, Not Afterward

Nearly 100 severe hepatitis and liver failure illnesses — nearly half requiring hospitalization, including three transplants and one death — are raising new questions about the nation’s $ 32-billion-a-year supplements industry.

This comes only three months after the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine found that all those vitamin and mineral supplements peddled by the industry are worthless if taken for preventing the occurrence or progression of chronic diseases.

All the recent liver damage was caused by a supplement called “OxyELITE Pro” sold by Texas-based USPlabs LLC, according to the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC).

The supplement was recalled after it started crashing livers last May. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was then able to get two substances, aegeline and 1,3-dimethylamylamine (DMAA), that were linked both to the illnesses and the fatality removed from the market, that’s about all FDA could do.

“The dietary supplement was recalled, but nothing has been done to prevent another supplement from causing organ failure or death,” Dr. Pieter Cohen writes in the New England Journal of Medicine. “Nor have any changes been made to improve the FDA’s ability to detect dangerous supplements.”

Cohen says FDA’s action on the liver-damaging supplement was a “delayed response” with “life-threatening consequences” because of “woefully inadequate” monitoring of the supplements.

Indeed, the most effective regulation of the supplements industry often comes not from FDA, but from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the claims supplement companies make that cannot be justified by science. FTC, with jurisdiction over marketing, often forces supplement marketers to stop making outrageous claims about diet miracles or easy muscle building. FTC settlements often entirely remove brands from the market, but typically they come back in short order under another name.

Cohen says that, unlike drugs, which require FDA approval before they can be sold, “anything labeled as a dietary supplement is assumed to be safe until proven otherwise.” He says there are currently 85,000 different combinations of vitamins, minerals, botanicals, amino acids, probiotics and other supplement ingredients out there, and that the 20-year old federal law on supplements shields the industry from more effective oversight.

“The FDA is charged with the unenviable task of identifying and removing dangerous supplements only after they have caused harm,” Cohen says.

And he claims FDA has its work cut out for it because dangerous supplements are widely available. More than 500 supplements have already been found to be adulterated with drugs, stimulants, steroids, banned weight-loss medication and other harmful substances.

Cohen calls for a pre-market approval system to protect Americans from dangerous supplements and a better adverse event reporting system. He says FDA’s “Med Watch” reporting system for incidents involving drugs, medical devices and supplements is inadequate.

The supplements industry responded by saying that existing law is sufficient. Steve Mister, spokesman for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, said FDA requires 75 days notice for new supplement ingredients.

But Cohen says supplements with chemical compounds close to methamphetamine and amphetamine are being sold as “natural” by the supplements industry. His claim is backed up by recent news reports such as one this past October when a panel of international scientists found the body-building supplement called “Craze” contained a compound chemically similar to the illegal drug methamphetamine.

Craze was sold in candy grape, berry lemonade and piña colada flavors over the Internet and in retail stores like those that sell supplements and organic groceries.

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have introduced legislation to require supplement manufacturers to register products and provide FDA with more information about their potential adverse affects. Cohen says that, while the bill is an improvement, it would not improve FDA’s ability to detect and remove dangerous supplements from the market.

Food Safety News

Possibly more rain damage for South African grapes

Possibly more rain damage for South African grapes

Unfortunately the country has been hit with more unseasonable rain in the last 2-3 days. It is yet unclear what the influence of the downpours will have on export volumes.

Although exports of South African grapes are down on last year, the situation is not as bad as was expected after the rain and hail earlier in the season.

Total exports are down by just over two million cartons, with Northern Europe being the biggest loser with 1.3 million carton less. Last week total exports were down around 4% on the 2012/13 season. According to SATGI, overall the season is running at 96% compared to last year

Oliphants River and Berg River finished off packing last week, but Hex Valley was still packing large volumes of Crimson Seedless and Sugranineteen, the last Redglobe and the first Dauphine was also being packed.

Publication date: 3/25/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Agricultural productivity loss a result of soil, crop damage from flooding

The Cache River Basin, which once drained more than 614,100 acres across six southern Illinois counties, has changed substantively since the ancient Ohio River receded. The basin contains a slow-moving, meandering river; fertile soils and productive farmlands; deep sand and gravel deposits; sloughs and uplands; and one of the most unique and diverse natural habitats in Illinois and the nation.

According to a recent University of Illinois study, the region’s agricultural lands dodged a bullet due to the timing of the great flood of April 2011 when the Ohio River approached the record high of 332.2 feet above sea level.

“The floodwaters eventually drained back into the Ohio River and upper Mississippi River ultimately leaving approximately 1,000 acres of agricultural land flooded from a backup in the middle and lower Cache River Valley, which flooded the adjacent forest-covered alluvial soils and the slightly higher cultivated soils,” said U of I researcher Ken Olson.

According to Olson, who has studied the effects of that particular flood extensively, these cultivated soils drained by the middle of June 2011 and were planted to soybeans. The floodwaters left a thin silt and clay deposition on the agricultural lands and crop residue when they receded. These coatings included significant amounts of soil organic carbon, microbes, and pathogens. After the coatings dried, they were incorporated into the topsoil layer of the alluvial soils using tillage equipment.

“Because the flooding occurred during the non-growing season for corn and soybeans, the mixing in of sediment into the topsoil prior to planting resulted in little significant loss of soil productivity, little soybean damage, or yield reduction on lands outside the levees along the Mississippi, Cache, and Ohio rivers,” Olson said.

As a result of the record Ohio River flood level, floodwaters passed north through the Post Creek cut-off, then west through the 2002 Karnak breach and into the middle Cache River valley to the Diversion to Mississippi River, which was already above flood stage so the floodwaters continued west. In late April, the Ohio River floodwaters then started to flood the towns of Olive Branch and Miller City, the Horseshoe Lake area, and surrounding agricultural lands. On May 2, 2011, the Len Small levee on the Mississippi River failed and resulted in the flooding of an additional 30,000 acres of Illinois public and private lands.

Illinois agricultural statistics recorded the harvest of 4,500 fewer acres of corn and 6,500 fewer acres of soybeans in Alexander County in 2011. Soybean production was 1,200,000 bushels in 2010 but dropped to 865,000 bushels in 2011 due to flooding from both the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and  crop and soil damage. The floodwaters also scoured lands in some places and deposited sand in other locations.

Olson cautioned that, had winter wheat been planted outside the levees in the fall of 2010, the wheat crop would have drowned. “Illinois farmers are aware of the flooding potential, especially in the winter and early spring, so they don’t plant winter wheat on unprotected bottomlands,” he said. “Consequently, there was no crop loss outside the levees in April and May of 2011. Local floodwater in the lower Cache River Valley, south of the Mississippi River Diversion and Dike, could not flow back into the Ohio River. It was blocked by the Cache River levee on the south side and by the closed gate at the Ohio River levee. Instead, water backed up and flooded forested and agricultural lands along the lower Cache River and north of the Cache River levee,” Olson said.

Olson said that the damage to the land could have been much worse. “Land use changes, diversion ditches and levees, loss of wetlands and flood-holding capacity, internal channelization of the Cache River and tributaries, and an ever-changing climate have altered the hydrology of the valley, redistributed soil from fields and ditch banks into the river, and transported tons of sediment during flooding events into both the Ohio and Mississippi rivers,” Olson said.

As the 2011 Ohio River floodwater reclaimed its ancient floodway, Olson says that the extent of these hydrologic changes and their social, economic, and environmental impacts have become more apparent. “The Great Flood of 2011 lends urgency to the reevaluation and implementation of the Cache River Watershed Resource Plan completed in 1995,” Olson said.

He cited nine resource concerns that were identified: erosion, open dumping, private property rights, water quality, continuation of government farm conservation programs, Post Creek Cutoff stream bank erosion, open flow on the Cache River, dissemination of accurate and timely information throughout the watershed, and the impacts of wildlife on farming and vice versa.

“Most of these concerns still need to be addressed,” Olson said. “Since that plan was created, there have been additional compromises/breaches that need to be repaired.  As the repair and rebuilding of the valley infrastructure is undertaken, there will need to be a significant investment of human and financial resources to reduce the impacts of future catastrophic events.”

“The 2011 Ohio River flooding of the Cache River Valley in southern Illinois,” which was co-authored by Kenneth R. Olson and Lois Wright Morton, was published in a 2014 issue of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation and can be found online at http://www.jswconline.org/content/69/1/5A.full.pdf+html.

 “Impacts of 2011 Len Small levee breach on private and public Illinois lands,” co-authored by Kenneth R. Olson and Lois Wright Morton, was published in a 2013 issue of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation and can be accessed online at http://www.jswconline.org/content/68/4/89A.full.pdf+html.

Partial funding for this research was provided by the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. Additional funding support came from National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, Regional Research, Project No. 15-372 and in cooperation with North-Central Regional Project No. NCERA-3 Soil Survey; and published with funding support from the Director of the Illinois Office of Research, ACES, University of Illinois.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Australia: Minimum damage to apples and pears after heatwave

Australia: Minimum damage to apples and pears after heatwave

Searing temperatures across South East Australia last week hit many apple and pear growing regions, but good management from growers and quality assurance practices will help ensure consumers still get high quality fruit this season.

“Despite the extreme weather, we have only received reports of minimal heat damage to apples and pears from growers across Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and NSW,” says Mr John Dollisson, Chief Executive Officer of Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL) – the peak industry body representing apple and pear growers nationwide.

“Even where there may have been some sunburn or damage, consumers can still look forward to a season of high quality apples and pears because grading practices ensure only the best fruit reaches the market.”

After apples and pears are picked, they are sorted into different grades that have strict standards to ensure consumers get the quality of fruit they are after.

Any heat-damaged fruit is excluded from the top grades of the main retailers meaning premium quality apples and pears will still be available this season to enjoy even if some fruit gets affected by the extreme temperatures.

Growers can also take steps to minimise the extent of sun damage.

“Growers are well prepared and use the latest best management practices to reduce the damage – such as applying ‘sunscreens’ to the fruit,” says Mr Jesse Reader, Technical Manager at APAL.

Apples and pears get sunburnt in much the same way people can. Sometimes sunburn can just cause superficial damage, but it can also penetrate more deeply causing the fruit to go brown inside. High temperatures can also ‘cook’ the fruit on the tree, making it softer and less crispy.

Pome fruit trees also go into ‘power save mode’ when temperatures exceed about 35 degrees, meaning the fruit growth rate slows as the tree diverts all its resources to essential functions to stay alive.

“The most effective way to protect apples and pears from sun damage is the installation of overhead misters that apply water to the crop and keep temperatures down via evaporative cooling,” says Jesse.

“Other sun protection methods that are more widely used include installing overhead nets that provide shade, spraying a food grade clay-like sunscreen onto the fruit, and just ensuring the trees get enough water to reduce their heat stress.”

To help growers protect fruit when temperatures are high, the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries, with APAL’s support, developed Sun Protection for Fruit: A practical manual for preventing sunburn on fruit (pdf 790kb) and they have online resources for Sunburn protection for apples.

apal.org.au

Publication date: 1/22/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Navel loss to freeze damage could be one-third or more, as prices start to rise

One month after the week-long hard freeze in the citrus-growing areas of central California, growers were continuing to assess damage. While no figures were yet available for the industry as a whole, the effects of the widespread freeze were extremely variable, with damage ranging from negligible in some blocks to extensive in other blocks.

Unofficially, as of early January it was appearing that the total loss to the remaining on-tree crop could be 30 percent or more.

“We are hoping to have something by the end of this month,” Bob Blakely, director of industry relations for California Citrus Mutual in Exeter, CA, told The Produce News Jan. 6. “We have questionnaires out now. We have people getting back to us with information. We are going to try to pin down a number” within the next two or three weeks.”

Even then, it will be a range, not an exact figure, “but hopefully we will have a tight range that we are comfortable with,” he said. Based on the information received so far from growers, “we are finding everything from almost no damage to complete losses in different blocks, and sometimes they are not that far apart. It has really been difficult to come up with a good number.”

The shortage resulting from the freeze was not felt prior to the holidays, as growers harvested as much fruit as they could prior to the freeze to assure being able to meet commitments for the holiday season.

Prices held fairly steady through the holidays as contracts were honored. As is normal, demand dropped immediately following the holiday pull but was starting to build again in early January, and growers say prices were beginning to rise at least partly due to the anticipation of tighter supplies through the balance of the season.

The extent of the freeze damage this year has been difficult to assess, according to Blakely. The weather has been fairly warm since the freeze, and “we keep thinking with these warm days it is going to start exacerbating the damage” on the freeze-damaged fruit, making it easier to separate out. But “we are not seeing a lot of differentiation yet. We are still working on it.”

The industry is taking great care to assure that only sound fruit is packed and shipped, so most of the fruit currently being harvested is from the least damaged blocks, and everything is inspected before shipping.

“They inspect it as it is going across the line, and they look at it again in the finished carton,” Blakely said. “So there is really a lot of effort going into keeping bad fruit off the market. The focus, certainly, is on keeping the quality standards high” and assuring that what does go into the box is good quality, because “the last thing that anybody in the industry wants is to get damaged fruit into the marketplace.”

Currently, “we are seeing good utilization on the fruit that is being packed, but that is not really indicative” of the remaining crop, Blakely said. Packinghouses are “out looking for their best fruit right now.”

In general, blocks that got colder and have more damage will not be picked and packed until the damaged fruit has differentiated itself and is easier to sort out. However, fruit from the most severely damaged blocks will not be packed fresh at all but will be stripped off and sent directly to the juice market.

Booth Ranches LLC in Orange Cove, CA, is looking at an estimated 30-40 percent loss on its Navels due to the freeze, according to Isak Du Toit, vice president of export marketing.

“That’s our early stuff we are getting in,” he said Jan. 6. “Some blocks are coming in with almost no damage at all. Some are coming with little and some with up to 40 percent. It just depends on where your block was and how cold it got in that specific area.”

Fruit from the better blocks “looks good, eats good and packs out good,” he said. In lots that have more damage, “you just have to work with it to get the damaged fruit out” and give the consumer a good box of fruit. “We want people to keep buying, so we want to be sure that we put good fruit on the market.”

Du Toit expected Booth Ranches to have “good fruit for the rest of the season.”Where there is more damage in a bin of harvested fruit, you just have to handle a little bit more to get the same amount out in the end.”

So far, “consumers seem to be happy with what we’ve put out there, so we are just going to continue to grade it hard and make sure we get all the bad ones out,” he said.

Prices on Navels were “going up slightly,” he said. “The domestic market has gone up maybe $ 2 a box,” but export prices have held steady since the start of the season.

The extent of damage “varies considerably depending on where you were in the state,” said Harley Phillips, a salesman at Johnston Farms in Edison, CA. “You had some areas that were extremely cold and with some extreme damage. You had other areas where there was virtually no damage. I imagine anyone with any amount of acreage suffered some kind of damage in the coldest spots, the lower spots. Our guess for our area is that we are probably going to wind up with about 35 percent loss of the entire crop.”

It was, Phillips said, the earliest crop-damaging freeze he can remember.

Johnston Farms has harvested fruit from some groves that “we are packing very successfully” and others that “we sent straight to the juice factory.” Then there are some lots with a fair amount of damage that “later on can be run and separated, but that ability hasn’t manifested itself yet,” he said.

Prices on smaller sizes “have jumped up pretty sharply,” Phillips said. That is due partly to the freeze but also “due to the fact that they were scarce this year to begin with. Currently “you’ve got, generally speaking, one price for Fancy fruit, all sizes,” he said Jan. 6.

Mandarins, which are more cold-sensitive than Navels, were generally more severely damaged, “but here again that depends on who you talk to,” Phillips said. “We suffered virtually no damage in any of our Mandarins in this area,” although the company also has Mandarin growers further north “who got burned pretty good.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

“Frost damage but Chilean cherry production not too bad”

Jacques Mayol: “Chile directed more to China and less to Europe”
“Frost damage but Chilean cherry production not too bad”

Jacques Mayol imports various products from overseas. At the moment he supplies Chilean cherries from the hallmarks Royal, Copefrut and David del Curto. The season started five weeks ago and will last till the middle of February. Jacques mentions that, like every year, the season started well. “Even with higher prices than other years. After two weeks the demand was slightly less, but now, a little more than a week before Christmas, we notice that the market becomes more active again.”


Jacques Mayol

Production  in line with last year
After the heavy frost in Chile this season serious damage was expected in the cherry orchards. “But that could have been worse compared to other top fruit. Also there is a continuous increase in the Chilean cherry area, which compensated for the shortage of fruit. Finally the production will be about the same as last year. Also Argentina this year had problems with frost, but that was a lot more severe than with the Chilean cherries. This year there will not be much on our market from Argentina.”

China promising
“Over the past few years China has grown to become a new promising destination for Chilean exporters, especially for cherries. This market has not as yet reached maximum capacity and as a result exporters are not looking at Europe as much as in the past. But I expect that when the new cultivations in Chile are in full production, they will move their attention to Europe again”.

“The prices of the cherries are between 10 and 15 Euro in Europe depending on sizes and varieties. The general quality is good and up to now clients mention that they enjoy them” the trader concludes.
 
For more information:
Jacques Mayol S.A.
112-154, Quai des Usines
1000 Brussels
Tel: +32-27850295
Fax: +32-27850292
GSM: +32-475283025
[email protected]

Publication date: 12/20/2013


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