Mexican state fears poor citrus harvest

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Mexican state fears poor citrus harvest

Fruit growers in the Mexican state of Tabasco expect around 40% of winter citrus crops will be affected by the recent bad weather, website reported.

Citrus Council chairman Abdón Pasos Benavides, predicted a poor harvest this January to come hard on the heels of current price slumps, the story reported.

He said excessive humidity would lead to an increase in the presence of the fungus anthracnose, which affects flowering plants by preventing fruit from fully developing.

"So we cut the fruit before, give it away, throw it or sell it at prices that just about bear the cost of production," he was quoted as saying.

He told the website the current price of a 28 kg (61.6lbs) box of limes was between MXN10-15 (US$0.74-US$1.11), whereas during the same period last year the price was MXN750 (US$55.74) due to depressed local markets.

He said that key lime production this winter would be reduced by up to 50%.

During 2011 Tabasco's 500 growers produced 80,000 metric tons (MT) of citrus fruit grown on 13,000 hectares of which 8000 was devoted to lime orchards, the story reported.

Photo: Flickr, Moyerphotos

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