The new Philippine market potentially offers the opportunity for South African producers to export 20 000 tons of citrus fruit a year. After twelve years of negotiations between South Africa and Philippines the landmark export plan was at the end of last year. The South African citrus industry is expected to grow with approximately 500 000 tons over the next few years. Thus, expanding to new markets is of upmost importance to ensure that an oversupply does not occur in existing markets. The area used for soft citrus production is expected to grow with approximately 29 %, of which 42 % of the growth is expected to be mandarins.
Selective pruning of citrus trees is needed to manipulate the partitioning of carbohydrates between various tree parts. In well-managed citrus orchards proper pruning practices will likely have the most significant impact on optimizing yield and fruit size. Inferior flowering wood is removed at specific phenological stages (as soon as possible after harvest in winter or as early in spring as possible). Smaller heading-back and thinning cuts are made throughout the canopy to weaken the trees’ regrowth vigor and to open trees to light, in an attempt to balance fruiting and regrowth.