Cold Snap Hitting Texas Citrus Industry Hard, Farmers Say
RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (NewsNet) — Texas is a top citrus producer in the U.S. but its crop has been frozen by this week’s unusually cold weather, meaning much of the citrus in the state has been destroyed.
Video taken by local farmers shows some fruit has had its insides turned into ice chips.
It’s a sign you likely won’t be seeing citrus from Texas on the shelves at the stores in the coming months
“Industry-wide, we’re looking at 55 to 60 percent of our grapefruit was still on the trees… Almost 100% of our Valencia orange crop,” said Dale Murden of Texas Citrus Mutual. “So you know you take those two losses combined, it’s devastating.”
Those numbers are just estimates; Merton says he won’t know the extent of the damage for another couple of weeks.
And not only is the current crop damaged but the next one will be too, Murden tells NewsNet.
“It’s February, so we were starting to bloom and have next year’s crop on the trees. Next year’s crop could, could really be cut back. We’ll have to wait and see depending on the tree damage.”
He says when it warms up more damage will be done because these branches will break.
But there is hope now that, with all this loss, the consumer won’t forget Texas citrus as Murden says it’s a fruit that consumers seem to prefer.
“Please hang in there and bear with us. And, when we come back support us.”