A Chinese delegation is visiting California this month, in what could be an opportunity for the state’s citrus industry to renew exports to China. However, it would mean some changes for California citrus growers. Sabrina Hill reports.
California citrus could return to China
The Chinese delegation will tour the state’s biggest citrus-producing areas, including the San Joaquin Valley and Ventura County, where they will visit packinghouses and groves.
China stopped accepting citrus from California just over a year ago, citing worries about the citrus disease brown rot. China was the third-largest export market for California citrus, South Korea and Japan being first and second.
China has already agreed to some protocols in preparation for allowing California citrus back in. Citrus growers here will have to skirt the trees higher than current practices and spray to protect the fruit from the bacteria that causes brown rot. There will also be more intensive fruit inspections, both in the field and at the packinghouses.