“We’ve got a little bit more water up in the few water reservoirs that are our water source, so we’re in much better shape than we were in a while back,” Prewett said.
Before the late summer spate of precipitation, there had been some real concern about the water situation across the valley, Prewett said.
There’s also another change this year, with the arrival of Delano, Calif.-based Paramount Citrus, which acquired Rio Queen Inc. in Mission and Healds Valley Farms Inc. in nearby Edinburg.
Paramount now owns 10,000 citrus acres in the valley and has working relationships with 40 growers who have an aggregate 10,000 more acres, Erickson said.
“It’s been a shot in the arm for the citrus industry here, and we’re already seeing acres start to climb,” Erickson said.
David Krause, president of Paramount Citrus, said he was pleased with what he had seen in his company’s first full Texas citrus crop.
“It’s shaping up very nicely. Volume is down a bit, but the size of the fruit is up, which we think is much better because it will present more marketable sizes to the customer,” Krause said.
Krause described the water situation as tough but said he isn’t concerned about running short of necessary moisture.
“We’ve been able to sort of scrape together enough water, and we’ve had some nice rains in the fall that have helped a bit, but it’s a battle down there,” he said.