The county’s largest lemon packing cooperative posted record-high revenues in the 1990 fiscal year that ended Oct. 31, the president of the Saticoy Lemon Assn. said Monday.
The association, which represents 250 growers mostly in Ventura County, sold 156,000 tons of lemons for gross sales of $84 million, the highest in the association’s 57-year history, said Saticoy Lemon President Glenn Miller.
Miller said the record income resulted from a February, 1990, freeze that destroyed some lemon crops in competing agricultural areas in the San Joaquin Valley and Arizona. That allowed growers in the Saticoy Lemon Assn., who lost only about 5% of their lemon crops, to reap higher prices for their goods.
“It’s a business where one man’s disaster is another man’s gold mine.”
But Miller said the outlook is not as good for the year ahead. The Dec. 21 freeze ruined trees and crops in the San Joaquin Valley, but it also hit Ventura County hard.
“The association as an average should have a fairly good year, but not as good as last year,” he said.
The association, which operates five packing houses in the county, now has three staffed and running. Miller said the association will employ as many farm workers in the next few months as it would during a normal year because the lemons have to be inspected closely for damage before they are packed.