Citrus disease in China could lead to additional demand for California-grown fruit. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that Chinese orange production will drop 10 percent this year, because of a plant disease known as citrus greening. At the same time, demand for fresh fruit in China continues to increase. As a result, USDA says it expects China to import more oranges and other citrus fruit.Of course, this comes after China kept California citrus fruit out last season because of a fungal disease that showed up on a few shipments, so perhaps you can chalk this up to a case of "You reap what you sow."
California citrus fruit registered about $28 million in sales in the 2012-2013 season -- the last season that fruit from the Golden State was allowed in. Bob Blakely of California Citrus Mutual tells me he expects the industry to top that this year.
For my story on this, check CapitalPress.com soon.