Page 51 - December2018
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it best: ‘It’s going to be an interesting start to ourTexasseason,’”saysGaleazzi.“Weather has been a big factor for us in Texas. Most of our Rio Grande Valley and central Winter Garden/Uvalde growing regions have received a lot of rain over the last month, and it’s impacted a lot of our plantings. Our Texas fall crops are de nitely experiencing delays and some challenging harvesting conditions. When the  elds are wet, it’s really hard to move equipment or personnel through the  elds.  ankfully conditions are improving; we had a handful of good days in a row and that allowed the growers to get back into the  elds and back to business. Hopefully, we’ll continue to see these types of conditions moving forward.”
Texas is so important in grapefruit and orange production that when California’s largest grower-shipper wanted to  ll out their portfolio of year-round citrus, they looked to the Lone Star State.
“We grow grapefruit and oranges in Texas,” says Kevin Roberts, Wonderful Citrus director of sales for Texas in Mission, TX. “ e past  ve years have been somewhat  at in terms of volume, but with new plant-
ings we started a few years ago, we see both grapefruit and oranges moving upward, and we expect to see this growth continue for the next several years, year-over- year.”
 e Los Angeles headquartered Wonderful Company augmented its citrus position by also becoming the largest grape- fruit grower in Texas.
“Wonderful will be the No. 1 supplier of red grapefruit, with about 50 to 55 percent total share of volume this winter season,” says Roberts. “Grapefruit and oranges are both growing in volume.”
Although Florida remains the orange juice king despite struggles with citrus greening disease, California and Texas are by far the leading fresh market citrus producers with a combined total of nearly 300,000 acres, according to the US Department of Agricul- ture’s Citrus Fruits 2018 Summary.
“We market the fact we grow oranges and grapefruits through our Texas Grown label, which showcases Texas as the primary messaging on the label,” says Roberts. “We have display bins for both labels that provide excellent options for merchandising Texas citrus in stores.”
 e weather should make for good-sized citrus this year, but it may come a few days later than usual.
“For Texas citrus, the rain at this point in the season will help give the fruit size and ensure great eating quality,” says Galeazzi. “Unfortunately, it has slowed the kicko  of the season. Right now, we should be rocking and rolling with Texas grapefruit, but we haven’t quite gotten to that point.”
Because the produce supply chain is national, even global, the ability of New Yorkers to  nd an abundant supply of leafy

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