2024 Citrus Showcase squeezes into Visalia March 14

(Rigo Moran)

Event hosted by California Citrus Mutual offers juicy details into industry trends along with solutions to growing challenges

TULARE COUNTY – The California Citrus Showcase will hit the Visalia Convention Center to provide juicy insider perspectives on the world’’s most valuable citrus crop and showcase top vendors in the industry.

The event is free to attend and is open to the public. It will be held from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the San Joaquin Room at the Visalia Convention Center on March 14. Making an appearance as the headliner for the exclusive luncheon this year will be California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross.

“We are extremely pleased to have a speaker of Secretary Ross’ caliber for this year’s Citrus Showcase,” said CCM President and CEO Casey Creamer via announcement. “Ross will provide a unique perspective on the state of California agriculture and its perception in Sacramento.”

The showcase is likely to be a jubilant event as news broke on Feb. 22 that the recent storms in California have improved the Sierra snowpack, leading the U.S. Department of Reclamation to provide an early allotment of water to Class 1 users from Millerton Reservoir. Field irrigation typically falls under Class 2 standards, but an early allotment for the first group is an indication that farmers will get the water they need this year.

Discussions will involve several notable topics that go beyond just the citrus growers themselves and impact the entire industry, from orchard to table. Important lectures on changing pests to the citrus crop and new revelations about “lemon pitting,” a bacterial disease that impacts lemons after harvest will provide updates to the industry.

Importantly, the Citrus Research Board will provide updated information about the revolutionary Integrated Pest Management program. The state of the art program is changing the way growers effectively and economically control pests while avoiding unnecessary or ineffective treatments that can have unintended consequences. The program makes it easier for farmers to identify new threats quickly and find solutions before outbreaks occur that can negatively impact crop production.

The most enjoyable aspect of the event is the trade show. Dozens of vendors will be on hand to show off everything from the latest in equipment to software technology growers can use to more accurately monitor their orchards and improve harvest amounts.

California’s citrus industry is the top in the world and accounts for around 80% of all citrus grown in the U.S. While harvests were down slightly in several areas last year, the state’s mandarin crop – arguably one of the most valuable segments of citrus – continues to grow. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that tangerine and mandarin harvests were 23% higher in 2022-23 than the previous year, largely due to improved access to water and an expansion in planted acreage.

The Citrus Showcase will be an engaging opportunity for anyone who wants to know more about the industry to come out and meet the people who are leading California citrus production.

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