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Citrus Industry

March 16, 1994
Before the housing tracts, malls and freeways, the San Fernando Valley was home to a thriving citrus industry that in its heyday covered 15,000 acres. From the early 1920s to the late 1950s, oranges were grown and packed in harvested for local consumption as well as the rest of the country. Packing houses located in San Fernando, Pacoima, Reseda and Owensmouth (which was later renamed Canoga Park), processed the local oranges, mostly Valencias.
February 15, 2007
Re "A town that wants illegal immigrants," Current, Feb. 11 Although I agree with Gregory Rodriguez's column that the recent freeze in the citrus industry hits farmworkers the hardest and that the government desperately needs a coherent guest-worker program, it seems wrong to link the two issues. My family has been in the citrus industry for more than 30 years, and I'm a part-owner of an independent citrus company in Exeter, just 10 miles from Lindsay. It's sad to say, but in the short term this freeze, if anything, will alleviate the labor shortage: If an industry has too few workers, taking away jobs will solve the problem, not worsen it. Rodriguez implies that the effects of the freeze could have been mitigated if there were just more workers available to pick the fruit before the freeze.
December 3, 2013 | By David Pierson
California's $2-billion citrus industry is bracing for an Arctic chill later this week that could wreak havoc across the San Joaquin Valley. Temperatures are expected to reach lows of around 30 degrees in the Fresno area starting Thursday and last several days. Citrus growers are preparing to soak their groves with water to raise ground temperatures. Farmers are also readying wind machines to circulate the warm air if necessary. “Citrus will be the main crop under threat,” said Dave Kranz, a spokesman for the California Farm Bureau Federation.
May 26, 1988 | BRUCE KEPPEL, Times Staff Writer
Sunkist Growers, responding to increased competition in the citrus industry, said Wednesday that it is slashing 66 jobs from a full-time work force of 460--including 30 at the cooperative's Sherman Oaks headquarters. The move is part of a cost-control program to trim more than $7 million in overhead by Oct. 31, the end of Sunkist's fiscal year, President Russell L. Hanlin told about 500 Ventura County grower members who gathered at Camarillo Grove County Park for a midyear review.
January 10, 2001 | DAVID KARP
Most people won't read James Saunt's "Citrus Varieties of the World--Second Edition" (Sinclair International, $60) at a sitting, but it's more than a reference work. If you like citrus, it's fun to browse through, and it's the book if you're wondering what those big freaky lemons on the tree in the yard might be (Ponderosa); what's the difference between Mexican and Key limes (none); or what a bergamot is (cross of sour orange and sweet lime, used in perfumes and tea).
Ventura County growers cheered a decision that continues a ban on the importation of Argentine citrus until new studies prove that the imports pose no risk to the domestic market. The U.S. Justice Department dropped its appeal last week of a court ruling suspending the importation program, clearing the way for a new round of studies.
August 30, 2008 | Jerry Hirsch, Times Staff Writer
A tiny insect capable of carrying a disease that could devastate California's $1.2-billion citrus industry has been found in a lemon tree in San Diego, state agriculture officials said Friday. The identification of the bug as an Asian citrus psyllid in San Diego is preliminary, pending confirmation at a U.S. Department of Agriculture lab in Washington, officials said. The Asian citrus psyllid has become the primary carrier of citrus greening disease in Florida, where it has killed thousands of acres of orange groves, endangering that state's ranking as the largest U.S. producer of orange juice.
October 11, 1998 | JENNIFER HAMM
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a four-month delay on action concerning the importation of Argentine citrus, signaling a victory for Ventura County lemon growers. The USDA imposed the delay to consider ways to ensure that imported fruit does not contain medflies or other citrus pests. "We must make sure that we protect the California citrus industry from the medfly, citrus cancer, black spots, sweet orange scab and other pests and diseases," Rep.
A microscopic Asian moth, the newest threat to Florida's citrus industry, is puzzling scientists and worrying growers. The citrus leafminer somehow hitchhiked into the Miami area almost a year ago and quickly established itself in much of Florida's 790,000-acre citrus belt. Officials believe it traveled to Florida from China, Thailand or Australia in a cargo shipment or in travelers' luggage. The insect derives its name from its habit of boring into leaves and then "mining" them for food.
October 31, 2009 | Jerry Hirsch
A tiny insect that threatens California's $1.6-billion citrus industry has been found near one of the state's commercial citrus growing regions. The Asian citrus psyllid, which has ravaged orchards in Florida as well as overseas, was found in Valley Center in rural San Diego County, the closest the bug has come to a major concentration of citrus groves. Northern San Diego County has about 2,500 acres of commercial citrus trees and is home to the largest concentration of organic citrus farmers in the nation, which will complicate efforts to control the insect, said Ted Batkin, president of the Citrus Research Board.
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