Federally proposed lemon rule worry some in Yuma

Posted at 4:59 AM, Jun 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-06 07:59:06-04

Some in southwest Arizona worry that a federally-proposed rule change could have detrimental effects on Yuma-area lemon growers.

The Yuma Sun reports that's because the rule change would allow the importation of fresh lemon fruit from northwest Argentina into the U.S.

Yuma's Rocky Curtis, president of the family-owned Mission Citrus, a Sunkist packing house, says the proposed rule would hurt local farmers and potentially put family farmers out of business.

Curtis said Mission Citrus produces around 3 million cartons of lemons annually, about 7 percent of the entire U.S. market.

The U.S. produces little more than 40 million cartons annually compared to about 90 million cartons in Argentina. The South American nation currently ships its lemons across the Atlantic Ocean.