The California Citrus Mutual Marketing Committee (Committee) – comprised of growers, shippers, and marketers – anticipates the 2022-23 Navel Orange crop will be approximately 10% over the previous season’s utilized production. At below average, the upcoming season crop is expected to be very similar to the previous season with excellent fruit quality and sizing. Preliminary maturity tests show that the crop is progressing very well with high sugar content that well exceeds the “California Standard” for sweetness.
The Mandarin crop – including Clementines, Tangos, Murcotts, and other seedless varieties – is also progressing well in terms of quality and fruit size. The Committee estimates that the Mandarin crop will be up by as much as 30% over the previous season, but still well below average production levels and nearly 30% below the 2020-21 record-breaking large crop.
“The high quality of this crop is the silver lining of a very costly growing season,” says CCM President Casey Creamer.
“Like many Americans, growers are faced with rising inflation and increasing costs. The cost to grow and ship California citrus has more than doubled in the past ten years. Since 2020, growers’ costs have increased over $1,000 per acre and in the last year alone, costs have gone up 25% with fertilizer, fuel, and water being the main drivers. We also expect higher costs on the packing and shipping side this season largely due to increased transportation and labor costs.
“Despite these challenges, the industry is optimistic for the season ahead. The 2022-23 crop will deliver what consumers have come to love and expect from California citrus – a delicious, sweet Navel orange and Mandarin that is unrivaled by the rest of the world,” says Creamer.
The California Navel orange crop will start by the end of October followed by Mandarins in early November.