Halfway through the selling season and Satsuma mandarins and other cold hardy varietals are still in abundant supply, according to the Cold Hardy Citrus Association.
Growers had predicted this year’s harvest would be favorable at the season’s start. According to the association, the groves are producing beyond those early expectations.
The Sweet Valley Citrus region spans a tri-state zone throughout the North Florida, South Alabama and South Georgia. All citrus varieties, including Sweet Valley’s Satsumas, are grown on local family farms, tree-ripened and shipped daily from farmer-owned packing facilities.
“We are seeing good quality, bigger size and lots of volume left to pick on trees, especially for Satsumas,” said Kim Jones, current president of the CHCA.
That means availability and shipping should continue for another four to six weeks, Jones advised. Retailers who already ordered this year, such as Whole Foods, Rouses Markets, Publix and Aldi, will have a steady supply and sales of citrus varietals. However, with such a large bumper crop available, other retailers can still place orders.
“People love Satsumas because they are sweet, seedless, and easy-to-peel, making them perfect to eat at any time,” Jones said. “This year’s harvest is showing high brix levels that equate to maximum sweetness.”
The growing region in North Florida and southern parts of Alabama and Georgia had good growing conditions this spring and summer, with enough rainfall and no adverse weather conditions.
In addition to the Satsuma crop, the Cold Hardy Citrus Association has also advised that Cara Cara oranges, as well as Tango, Kishu and Shiranui mandarins, are also at peak and are continuing to ship through January.
“Trees are still producing beautiful fruit with plenty of time left for ripening on the tree as we head into cooler weather,” Jones said. “These are ideal conditions for nearly all cold-hardy citrus varietals, and we expect growers will keep delivering excellent quality all the way through to the end of the season.”
The Sweet Valley Citrus brand was created by the Cold Hardy Citrus Association, a nonprofit established in 2017 to ensure all producers in the region have a voice in the industry, and to provide education on best farming practices. Members include growers, handlers, shippers and allied businesses.
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