After three quarters of the year, it is nice to see us on track for a reasonably prosperous year. I dislike quarter ends for the first two quarters of the year intensely. Federal and State quarterly payroll tax forms, worker’s comp reports, water usage reports, materials usage reports… lots of paperwork. Now for the most part that is still true for third quarter. But by the third quarter, our revenue and production numbers are firming up. There is some good news. With our avocado season now over, I know that we were ahead of our targets in both quantity of fruit and income. Lemon pool payments are not finalized, but prices are looking better than forecast and I know we slightly exceeded our production number. Things are looking good for our friends at Ventura Limoncello, and our sales to them are up nearly 70% from last year! And Meyer lemons are up 142% for us this year. Too bad specialty fruits are still a small part of the overall business. But just like the trees, they will continue to grow.
Of course, Q3 isn’t always fun. This time last year, I was scrambling to cut our budget as lemon prices continued to slide. We began last year expecting an average of $6.25 per field box for our lemons. By fall it looked like we’d be seeing the average drop below $4. So I really enjoy a year like this one, where after only 9 short months of work, I finally know I’ll get paid this year!