Grower Newsletter | October 2016


Dear LoBue Grower,

Mark your calendar for October 25th at the Visalia Country Club for the annual LoBue Grower Dinner. Social hour will begin at 6:00 pm with dinner being served promptly at 7:00. RSVP information is below.

We are now through running our final Valencias and have no problem saying goodbye to a less than spectacular season.

It is now time to shift gears and take a look at the up and coming 2016-2017 citrus season. As most of you know by now, the Navel tree crop appears to be down 15 percent. Cara Caras and Clementines also seem to be down slightly while Murcotts, Tangos, Moros, and Minneolas are expected to be at the same level as last year. The Mandarin fruit set is down, but with increased acreage, the overall volume will remain the same.

Fruit quality at this point looks good with only slight thrip and wind damage showing up. Growers have been more aggressive on their red scale programs this summer and the results are paying off. Fruit size is comparable to last season being somewhat small, but with more variability from area to area. Early winter rains could dramatically alter sizing though as it did two years ago. Last year we had abundant rain arriving a little later in the year, not allowing for rapid growth in December and January. Fruit is testing very well this season enabling harvesting to begin even as this letter is being written. We are now off and running to what can only be a better season than the past one.

Our sales staff has been very busy traveling the entire country the last six weeks, meeting with all our retailers, and demonstrating all the things we do at LoBue Citrus to differentiate ourselves from the other packer shippers. This has been one of our most successful marketing adventures in many summers, covering more ground and seeing more people. Mr. Chuck Plummer has joined the team this summer. Chuck has well over 20 years experience in the produce industry working with sales and procurement, giving him great experience sitting on both sides of the desk. His first day as a LoBue employee was sitting on a plane to Indiana to meet with some of our Midwest accounts. Whether it’s export, domestic, heritage, high brix or any grade combination, LoBue Citrus is poised in the market place to perform at a very high level.

About a year ago, LoBue Citrus announced that we would be looking down the road to see how we could strategically place ourselves in the industry for the next ten years. Our quest remains unabated and will continue until we reach the right fit for our growers and the company. Rumors circulate that we have joined with this group or that organization. At this point there are no changes taking place.  But if, in the future, something does occur, the overriding concern will always be for the benefit of the LoBue growers.

To streamline costs, LoBue Citrus has sold the Exeter facility. This coming season we will be running two shifts at the Lindsay plant for the months of February, March and part of April. We have arranged to have some of our specialty varieties custom packed by outside facilities with our supervision onsite; specific details will be discussed at the grower dinner.

All the above and much more will be discussed at the grower dinner, so we expect to have an informative and lively evening. Once again, we at LoBue Citrus would like to express our sincere thanks to all our growers who have truly made the company what it is today.  We look forward to seeing you October 25th.  Please RSVP by emailing Patsy or Kathy or calling the office at (559)562-2548.

 

Sincerely,

 

Tom Wollenman

General Manager