Florida’s navel deal normally finishes in late December.
Early midseason oranges, such as hamlins, begin harvesting in October and bear bigger volume in January and February before late-season valencias begin in late February and early March.
Swords said DNE’s midseasons look good and as with other varieties, possess larger sizings. He called sizings 10% to 12% higher than last season and reported hamlins in late October peaking on 100s, larger than the normal 125s. Swords said buyers should expect larger supplies of 100s.
In late October, Florida Classic’s Finch said midseasons and hamlins possess high quality. He said those varieties and temples should make for a smooth transition to the late -season valencias, which begin harvesting in late February. Possessing a four week production window, temples typically start harvesting in mid-January.
Dundee began harvesting tangelos in late October. Finch said early sizing is peaking on the 100s but buyers should expect strong availability of 80s as well.
Quentin Roe, president of Wm. G. Roe & Sons Inc., Winter Haven, said Roe plans to start harvesting its tree-ripe tangelos in mid- to late December, earlier than its normal early January start. Roe said tangelos, normally available through late February, should successively peak on the 80s, 100s and 64s.
Swords said valencias brought steady demand last spring.
Finch characterized last year’s valencia season as “tremendously strong” and one that brought high quality fruit.
He said Dundee ran fresh oranges through June before switching to its storage program for shipments through late July.
DLF’s George said last season’s killer freezes, which devastated Florida vegetables, didn’t affect its navels but damaged some valencias grown in north-central Florida production regions.
He said the deal began slow and a little rough. George called April and May sales “extremely soft” and said a large and longer than normal California navel crop likely contributed to the demand decline.
“That California deal got fairly abundant,” George said. “F.o.b.s were cheap. Demand was really not there. Hopefully, it will turn around this season.”
DLF plans to harvest through late May and sell through July through a storage deal.