In tropical and subtropical countries, the development of the fruit is affected by the temperature. Maturity of the rind and maturity of the flesh of the fruit are not synchronized. The fruit is edible even when the rind still remains green.
Mature fruit vary in size, even those on the same tree. With sweet oranges such as Valencia or Liucheng, harvesting should begin with the smaller fruit which mature first.
Alternaria brown spot, caused by the fungus Alternaria alternata, affects Minneola tangelos, Dancy tangerines, Murcotts, and less frequently Orlando tangelos, Novas, Lees, and Sunburst. In rare cases, it may also infect grapefruit. Where severe, the disease results in extensive fruit drop and must be controlled on processing and fresh market fruit.
Citrus scab caused by the fungus Elsinoe fawcettii affects grapefruit, Temples, Murcotts, tangelos, and some other tangerine hybrids. There is no need to control citrus scab on processing fruit, except possibly on Temples, where severe early infection reduces fruit size. Reduction or elimination of overhead irrigation on susceptible varieties during the active growth period of the fruit will decrease disease severity.
EU-27 citrus orchards include orange, lemon, mandarin and grapefruit groves. Production is mainly located in the Mediterranean regions of Spain, Italy and Greece, with lesser production in France, Cyprus, Malta and Portugal. For MY 2009/10, citrus production is expected to remain relatively flat compared to previous seasons. The overall decline in Spanish citrus production was offset by production increases in Italy, Greece and Portugal.
Budget-conscious consumers and a stronger Japanese yen signal opportunities for U.S. citrus exports
The index of prices received by fruit and tree nut growers in June remained above that of a year ago, as was also true in each month from January through May 2010. The index this June was reported at 148 (1990-92=100), 15 percent higher than the June 2009 index. Strength in the June index stemmed from grower price gains realized mostly for freshmarket lemons, oranges, apples, pears, and strawberries. Prices for processing oranges also averaged higher.
MY 2009/10 (November-October) production of fresh oranges is forecast at lower levels compared to the already low levels of MY 2008/09 as production areas, mainly the northern states of Mexico, were affected by dry weather conditions throughout 2009. Mexican orange exports are forecast to increase slightly from export levels of MY 2008/09 as more demand is expected from the international market. The final export figures will depend on U.S. demand.