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Learn About Citrus Farm Work & Citrus Picking in Australia

Learn About Citrus Farm Work & Citrus Picking in Australia


Learn About Citrus Farm Work & Citrus Picking in Australia

Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)

The opportunity to work on a citrus farm is truly one of a kind. Moreover, working on a farm in Australia enables one to view the country through a different lens. In fact, it is a great way to meet people of different backgrounds. Usually, the main harvest commences in March and continues all through October. Some of the main areas where citruses are grown are Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Most of the citrus fruit grown in Australian farms are for the fresh markets. However, a small percentage of oranges are reserved for juicing.

Criteria for Citrus Farm Workers

In order to properly oversee farming operations in a citrus farm, candidates must be capable of performing heavy, physical labour. Also, employees must be able to operate heavy machinery. In order to be successful on a farm, there should be an inherent passion for the outdoors and a prior knowledge of agricultural machinery. In addition, good hand-eye coordination and physical strength are also crucial parts of working on a farm.

Citrus Picking

Citrus fruits should be picked according to their varieties. Since citrus does not continue to ripen once picked, the time to harvest fruit is when it’s ripe and ready to eat, juice, or use. The easiest way to understand that the citrus fruit is ready for picking is a taste sample. Nevertheless, the optimal time for citrus picking is the winter season. In many citrus growing regions, oranges and grapefruit are picked from December through May. Limes and lemons ripen periodically and can be harvested all year. In fact, citrus cold snaps that do not fall off the tree due to cold or freezing temperatures actually drive the production of additional sugars and create sweeter fruit. However, freezing weather can cause the internal liquid in citrus fruit to freeze and damage the quality of both texture and taste. Frozen citrus fruit will not repair or recover, and will decay. If citrus fruit is ripe, and a freeze is impending, swift picking is the only response.

Citrus Packing

Packing citrus fruit may be identified as a delicate task. Even though these fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, these fruits sometimes pose a great challenge when they are readied for shipment. This is because these acidic fruits need special care while packing. Hence, those entrusted with the farm job of citrus packing need to undergo special training. The main job of a citrus fruit packer is to make sure that the product is safely and securely packed for shipment purposes. Packing these fruits on a shed is also a primary responsibility of a citrus packer. Therefore, even though the packaging process looks simple in the outside world, it may turn out to be a challenge that enables the candidate to gain insightful knowledge regarding the world of citrus farming.