Cancel OK

Seasonal Availability Chart

CULTIVATION

Orange trees need well-drained, loose soil as more restrictive soils can lead to root rot and shorten the life of trees. Many varieties are grafted onto other tree stock; newly planted trees can bear fruit in about 3 years.

Oranges are still largely picked by hand, with mechanical harvesting used for juicing varieties. The challenge is getting the fruit to fall without damaging the tree, as oranges are firmly fixed to their branches.

Some tests have been done using abscission compounds to weaken the stem and allow fruit to fall more easily, but are not in widespread use.

Pests & Diseases
Oranges are subject to several molds and rots, particularly after harvest, including green mold, blue mold, stem end rot, brown rot, and sour rot. Prevention includes proper handling to avoid physically damaging fruit, treatment with fungicides, rapid postharvest cooling, and proper storage temperatures.

A serious challenge to orange growers is Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening. Bacteria-based, it causes bitter and malformed fruit and eventually kills trees. It has been especially devastating in Florida and is spreading to other citrus-producing states.

To address the problem, the USDA has been working with commodity groups and growers in an emergency response group, earmarking millions of dollars to find solutions.

Citrus canker, another bacterial disease, was brought to Florida on hurricane winds in the 1980s and 1990s. It causes early fruit and leaf drop, as well as lesions on the fruit.

Storage & Packaging
Chilling injury can occur during storage at low temperatures where fruit can become pitted, stained, or suffer decay. Waxing or film-wrapping to maintain water content reduces incidence. Rind staining occurs when mature fruit is harvested late, but can be controlled by a preharvest application of gibberellic acid.

References: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, Purdue University, UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center, University of Florida/IFAS Extension, USDA.

GRADES & GOOD ARRIVAL

Oranges grown in Arizona and California are divided into U.S. Fancy, U.S. No. 1, U.S. Combination, and U.S. No. 2 grades; for Florida oranges (and tangelos) the grades are U.S. Fancy, U.S. No. 1 Bright, U.S. No. 1, U.S. No. 1 Golden, U.S. No. 1 Bronze, U.S. No. 1 Russet, U.S. No. 2 Bright, U.S. No. 2, U.S. No. 2 Russet, and U.S. No. 3.


Generally speaking, the percentage of defects shown on a timely government inspection certificate should not exceed the percentage of allowable defects, provided: (1) transportation conditions were normal; (2) the USDA or CFIA inspection was timely; and (3) the entire lot was inspected.

ARIZONA & CALIFORNIA

U.S. Grade Standards Days Since Shipment % of Defects Allowed Optimum Transit Temp. (°F)
12-7-3 5
4
3
2
1
15-8-5
15-8-5
14-8-4
13-7-4
12-7-3
38-48°

FLORIDA

U.S. Grade Standards Days Since Shipment % of Defects Allowed Optimum Transit Temp. (°F)
12-[7 VSD]- 3 5
4
3
2
1
15-[8 VSD]-5
15-[8 VSD]-5
14-[8 VSD]-4
13-[7 VSD]-4
12-[7 VSD]-3
32-34°

TEXAS & OTHER STATES

U.S. Grade Standards Days Since Shipment % of Defects Allowed Optimum Transit Temp. (°F)
see standards 5
4
3
2
1
15-[8 VSD]-5
14-[8 VSD]-5
13-[7 VSD]-4
11-[6 VSD]-3
10-[5 VSD]-2
32-34°

There are no good arrival guidelines for this commodity specific to Canada; U.S. guidelines apply to shipments unless otherwise agreed by contract.

References: DRC, PACA, USDA.

INSPECTOR’S INSIGHTS

• Skin breakdown, usually a sunken pitted area found around the stem end, is scored as a defect when affecting an area greater than a quarter inch on California oranges or greater than half an inch on Florida oranges
• Smooth scars, affecting more than a third of the surface are scored as ‘excessive discoloration’ on Florida oranges
• Dryness or mushy conditions from freezing injury is scored as a defect when affecting all segments more than a quarter of an inch at the stem end, or the equivalent
by volume.

Source: Tom Yawman, International Produce Training, www.ipt.us.com.

Page 2 of 212

This information is for your personal, noncommercial use only.