Navel Orange Crop
California orange growers are pleased this year about the Navel Orange crop. It’s looking like a better year for production than last.
Growers are busy preparing for the upcoming harvest, which should be well underway by December.. The full flavor and color of the Navel Orange usually isn't set until after Thanksgiving.
Craig Kallsen is a UC Coop Extension Farm Advisor in Kern County He says the timing of the harvest is normal, with recent growing conditions good helping to their boost optimism.
KALLSEN:“Last year we were plagued with really small fruit sizes and a lot of people didn’t even harvest their fruit. It looks much better this year in that respect. I know growers are happy. I don’t really have a really good feel for the number of fruit right now but I know the fruit sizes are up which means we probably have less fruit on the tree. Compared to last year, that’s probably a blessing.
Kallsen explains why the fruit was so small last year.
KALLSEN: “ I think part of it was the fact that the previous year we had some hot dry winds in May, speaking for Kern County. When the fruit was setting a lot of it dropped. And a big crop the previous year because we didn’t have that fruit lay in it all went into small fruit. This year it looks like less crop but bigger fruit.”
And as Kallsen explained volume is expected to be down year over year. Some estimates say the crop is down around 10 percent. Last season, there were large volumes and smaller fruit sizing. This year, we the expectations have that reversed.