Satsuma crop has high yields despite Mother Nature

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (WTVY) It’s a wonderful time to be a Satsuma, as harvest season is in full swing here in the Wiregrass, and the yields appear to be as sweet as the fruit itself.

“It’s amazing that people in this area still don’t know what a Satsuma is,” said President of Circle City Satsuma, Philip Dozier.

“So, it’s a seedless, sweet orange, and it’s a cross between mandarin and a sweet orange,” Dozier said.

And the pickings are anything, but slim.

“As we expected we have a much larger crop than we did last year,” Dozier explained.

Dozier and his family started the farm back in 2011, with the first batch of trees going into the ground in 2012.

Now with 850 Satsuma trees on the property, Dozier said the yields get better and better, with each passing year.

“The trees we have are bearing about 150 pounds per tree, and they will top out at about 450 pounds per tree,” Dozier explained.

The weather has been ideal over the past few weeks with warm, moist temperatures.

However, there was some concern toward the end of summer when drought conditions threatened the crop.

“That was too dry [laughter], and so we watered about three time a week, but this time of year, we’ve had plenty of rain, which helps the fruit be juicy and sweet and succulent. So, we’ve been blessed except for that one little period of time,” Dozier said.

The Doziers began harvesting the Satsumas on November 15th, and will continue right up until Christmas.

And with new , high tech equipment, the Doziers are ready to bring the sweet, easy-to-peel fruit to market.

But how can you be sure you’ve got a good one?

“That’s a great question because a lot of people will pick it up and say, ‘That’s spongy.’ That’s actually a good satsuma. You want that peel, where it just comes off of the fruit. So, it’s not like other fruit that you see in a grocery store. The spongier means it’s really a good fruit,” Dozier explained.

Satsuma prices vary, but you can typically buy a three pound bag for around $3.