Meet Roger Smith, an expert Sumo Citrus grower from California’s San Joaquin Valley. Roger has been passionately raising Sumo Citrus since 2008, tending to rows of the legendary fruit literally in his backyard.
Fans of Sumo Citrus patiently wait each year for January through April, when the fruit is available in stores. But for a grower of Sumo Citrus, the work is year round. Roger explains:
“A Sumo Citrus farmer’s work never seems to be done. Once the fruit is harvested in January, we get right back to work getting ready for the next crop. Canopy management, fertilization, soil health and moisture management begins immediately.”
Here’s Roger Smith inspecting his farm:
“Sometimes the fruit hasn’t even made its way to stores and we’re at work getting the trees ready to set next year’s crop. We pray a lot as hot May and June days causes many fruit to turn yellow and fall off, called “June drop.” June is when the marble sized fruit that remains starts to show itself and it is also the time for us to worry about the fruit getting sunburned from triple-digit Central Valley summers, so we apply natural clay sun screen on the fruit to protect them.”
As rain has ceased by mid-May, irrigation becomes a serious weekly chore. All Sumo Citrus farmers take water management very seriously utilizing years of experience combined with state-of-the-art technology that assists us in knowing exactly when and where to water, conserving as much as possible. Roger explains how Sumo Citrus stays irrigated in the hot summer months:
Here is Roger reviewing irrigation data:
It’s growers like Roger who make sure the world’s most loved fruit is enormous and extra sweet, year over year, all for the love of citrus.
See more footage from the Sumo Citrus farm at @sumocitrus.