Citrus Theft Takes A Toll On Valley Farmers

From a few trees to a ten-acre grove, citrus thefts come in all sizes.

By Michael MarksOctober 3, 2017 3:27 pm

After Florida and California, no other state grows more citrus than Texas. Most of the state’s oranges and grapefruit are grown in the Rio Grande Valley.

South Texas farmers could be doing well this year, since Hurricane Irma damaged much of Florida’s citrus crop – meaning higher prices for Texas’ producers. That’s if farmers pick their fruit before the thieves do. It seems that citrus theft is running rampant in the Valley, and we’re not just talking a bushel here or there.

Dale Murden, a lifelong from from Mission, is President of Texas Citrus Mutual. He says stealing citrus is not new, in fact, his organization’s goal is to educate farmers about how to prevent and deal with theft.

What you’ll hear in this segment:

-How farmers can prevent citrus theft, and whether methods of stealing fruit have changed

-Where the fruit is sold after it is stolen

– Whether this problem is unique to citrus growers, or if other crops are equally susceptible

Written by Dani Matias.