TIME TO PICK: The Imperial mandarins are ripe for the picking by Titus Kambuaya at RL Baker & Co's Prickle Farm. Photo Shirley Way / Central & North Burnett Times
TIME TO PICK: The Imperial mandarins are ripe for the picking by Titus Kambuaya at RL Baker & Co's Prickle Farm. Photo Shirley Way / Central & North Burnett Times Shirley Way

Citrus season about to get juicy

THE North Burnett citrus season was a late bloomer but has started with a good crop.

Narelle Emmerton, of Emmerton's Citrus, said hot weather had delayed picking imperial mandarins by a week-and-a-half.

"It's just Mother Nature - we need some cool mornings to get the fruit ripened," she said.

"It's been a good thing really, because so many people go away too early and stuff the whole market.

"There'll be a big drop on the market too after Easter and that could affect the price."

RL Baker and Co owner Russell Baker said fruit sent to market after Easter could create a glut when combined with unsold fruit delivered earlier.

Whereas a late year for everyone - starting after Easter - could work quite well, wife Lisa Baker said.

"It's usually better money early in the season - everyone aims to get that early money," she said.

"There will still be varying times that people start due to fruit maturity each year and the price drops when the bulk of the fruit starts."

Reg Brown, of Brown's Citrus Transport, said the delayed start was not a concern.

"It's a consumable product which needs to be good - so it's good to wait," he said.

"Hopefully it doesn't affect the quality."