Valley Growers Facing Harvest Hardship with Abnormal Weather

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SAN CARLOS – From cold fronts to rain and even snow, this season has been anything but normal for the Rio Grande Valley. The weather has some growers on a slowdown.

Hector Perez manages a small grove out of San Carlos. He says the recent cold and snow affected his harvest.

"Well that day, we didn't harvest for about two days because it was pretty wet,” said Perez.

He says if it rains you can't pick and that's when they start falling behind.

Dale Murden from Texas Citrus Mutual says the holiday season is usually a really good marketing time for citrus, but those less than ideal conditions that come with the cold fronts have slowed things down and not in a good way.

"Harvest is a little slow right now because of the wet conditions," Murden stated.

He says Cameron County has been especially slow with his grove around Harlingen. He added they can't risk the trucks getting stuck and harvesters can't walk through the fields to inspect the trees.

"And it's just tough getting back into the field. It's really slowed things down," he said.

It's also not just the rain that's an issue; the dense fog the Valley has been experiencing isn't just for bad driving conditions.

Murden says workers can't get an early start to the day and it's bad for the quality of fruit.

Drier conditions are said to dominate the rest of the week, eliminating for or any chance of rain.

"We are getting back in the field again with this wind," said Murden.

Murden has high hopes to keep the rest of the harvest going strong.


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