Lone Star Citrus Growers' TJ Flowers Details Positive Outlook Following Hurricane Hanna
MISSION, TX - TJ Flowers, Vice President of Operations and Sales at Lone Star Citrus, said it best: Hurricane Hanna truly defied the early forecast predictions. Turning south after making landfall, the massive storm resulted in a direct hit on the upper Rio Grande Valley. With winds and flooding hitting much higher than anticipated, it was a relief to hear an uplifting report from our friends at Lone Star.
“With major flooding in the area, information was slow to arrive, so preliminary estimates of fruit loss came in at 15-50 percent, depending on the area. Now that we’ve been able to get into most of the groves, we are estimating a 20 percent crop loss across the production area,” TJ told me.
The grower’s unrivaled determination shone through this unpredictable storm, though, as TJ went on to explain that Hurricane Hanna will likely strengthen the market, and it will be strengthened even further if the end result means fewer cartons overall with more volume on higher-priced, large-sized fruit.
“There is a silver lining, and that is that we have received significant rain at a key time in the growth cycle, allowing our remaining fruit the potential to size larger than expected,” he said. “This could give us the opportunity to make up some of the lost tonnage by way of a better utilization rate.”
Additionally, the grower reported that new plantings fared well, and flood waters in the producing orchards are receding at an appropriate rate. Due to this fortunate outcome, Lone Star does not anticipate a second fruit drop, which is something that was of concern immediately following the storm.
“Regarding the market, we expect a small gap between the California and Texas seasons. That gap, coupled with an increased demand for vitamin C-rich products, should allow a strong opening market,” TJ concluded.
We at ANUK are so thankful to hear these positive reports from our produce friends. For more news as it pertains to weather in major growing regions, stick with us.