As California growers consider which crops present the most opportunity for success, the citrus industry is no different. Shifting consumer trends have helped dictate which varieties of citrus are most popular among growers. Professor in the School of Public Policy at UC Riverside, Bruce Babcock explained that over the past 15 years or so there have been some notable changes in California citrus acreage.
“What we’ve seen is just explosive growth in acreage devoted to mandarins…In contrast, Valencia oranges have fallen out of favor with both growers and consumers and so acreage to Valencia’s has gone down quite a bit,” Babcock noted. “Navel oranges have been fairly steady, but in the last five years or so it looks like, according to USDA, that bearing acreage is down a little bit. So, it seems to be that navel oranges are falling a little out of favor with consumers and then that translates into producers devoting fewer acres to navels.”
Listen to the radio report below.