The 1928 Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide Page: 216
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THE TEXAS ALMANAC.
Citrus fruits have been grown along the
Gulf Coast for many years. Orange
County and city derived the name from
an early orange grove in that vicinity. It
was not until a few years ago, however,
that a citrus fruit growing business be-
gan to develop. During recent years ex-
pansion of this industry has been phe-
nomenal. The principal development has
been in Hidalgo and Cameron Counties in
the irrigated section of the lower Rio
Grande Valley. The census of 1920
showed that Texas had 55,660 orange
trees and 79,493 grapefruit trees.
The United States Department of Agri-
culture estimated that, in 1925, there were
in Texas 1,653,000 grapefruit trees of bear-
ing age, and 190,000 orange trees of bear-
ing age. In addition, there is a rapidly
growing lemon industry with an estimated
57,000 trees of bearing age in 1925. The
soil of the lower Rio Grande delta
(Magic Valley) produces the finest grape-
fruit grown-very large and of unsur-
passed flavor. For this reason the grow-
ing of grapefruit has taken the lead, al-
though an excellent orange is produced.
There is some cultivation of citrus
groves in Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Brooks,
Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt,
Dimmit, Fort Bend, Galveston, Guadalupe,
Jim Wells, Matagorda, Orange, San Patri-
cio, Willacy, Frio, Webb, La Salle and
other South Texas counties. Since 1925
there has been rapid expansion and pres-
ent estimates of the number of trees in
the lower Rio Grande Valley vary greatly,
but invariably run far in excess of the
census figure. Many estimate that there
are several million trees of all ages in
the groves of Cameron and Hidalgo
Texas Citrus Fruit Crop.
With the exception of the citrus fruit
industry, there has been greater expan-
sion in the fig growing business than in
any other in the State during the last
six or eight years. This new crop is pro-
duced along the coast at a number of lo-
calities, but lying principally between
Houston and Galveston on the east and
Corpus Christi on the west. There have
been some extensive experiments also in
the Rio Grande Valley. The fig grown in
this territory is the Magnolia variety,
which is adaptable to canning. There is
another variety found over a large area
in Texas, the Smyrna, a sweeter fruit
which, however, does not have the can-
ning qualities of the Magnolia. Both the
Magnolia and the Smyrna fig have grown
In Texas for many years. The Magnolia
is found along the coast and for a con-
siderable distance inland east of the ap-
proximate latitude of Corpus Christi and
Victoria. The Smyrna is found more fre-
quently in the territory around San An-
tonio. The fig grows as far north as the
Red River in East Texas, but there is no
commercial production north of the lati-
tude of the coastal belt. The Govern-
ment issues no figures on fig production
Peaches are found throughout the
State, but the principal peach producing
belt is the sandy land region of Middle
Eastern and Northeastern Texas. There
is also a large peach growing area in
Middle West Texas in the sandy land belt
in Brown, Comanche, Callahan and Park-
er and adjacent counties.
The peach is probably better adapted
to Texas than any other fruit. It grows
best on the sandy lands, but also does
well on the black land and loam soils in
most sections of the State.
Texas is now usually the third ranking
State in production, being behind Cali-
fornia and Georgia, which are the two
outstanding peach growing States. Texas
has the resources for almost unlimited
production, but the industry has received
several setbacks in the past. The first
peach "boom" in East Texas came in the
latter part of the last century. Markets
were soon glutted, however, and farmers
lost interest. Nematode, crown gall, San
Jose scale and other peach tree infesta-
tions spread rapidly and production was
soon cut to a low level, though there were
many trees. With the construction of
better roads, improvement of rail trans-
portation facilities for shipmenb of perish-
ables and the increase in urban popula-
tion of Texas, market conditions have be-
come much steadier and there is a grow-
ing interest in the peach growing busi-
ness, especially in East Texas. The pro-
duction averages around 2,000,000 bushels
annually and there is a considerable com-
mercial movement. Due to the slight care
taken of many orchards, the crop fluctu-
ates greatly from year to year, late frosts
being the principal immediate cause of
most crop failures.
The census of 1925 showed that there
were 3,758,188 peach trees of all ages in
Texas, and the production for 1924 was
1,637,652 bushels. With a growing mar-
ket demand, the peach growing industry
should become a major agricultural pur-
suit in Texas.
In 1925 those counties having more
that 50,000 trees each were: Anderson, 57,-
046; Bowie, 52,785; Camp, 63,154; Cass,
91,890; Cherokee, 182,744; Dallas, 66,549;
Erath, 62,758; Franklin, 88,844; Grayson,
61,610; Henderson, 115,601; Hopkins, 206,-
450; McLennan, 53,874; Montague, 52,922;
Parker, 96,620; Rusk, 55,021; Smith, 169,-
176; Tarrant, 95,413; Titus, 92,052; Upshur,
59,998; Van Zandt, 52,246; Wood, 103,286.
(See tables giving crops by counties.)
Texas Peach Crop.
Year- Prod'n (Bu.). Value.
1927 ........................ 800,000 $1,280,000
1926 ....................... 2,310,000 2,541.000
1925 ........................ 1,750.000 3.390.0)0
1924 ....................... 1,900.000 2,900,000
1923 ........................ 1,700,000 .......
1922 ....................... 1,920,000 .......
1921 ....................... 2,200.000 .......
1920 ....................... 800,000 .......
Pears are grown throughout North
Texas for local markets and home con-
sumption. The only appreciable commer-
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The 1928 Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide, book, 1928~; Dallas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123786/m1/219/?q=grapefruit: accessed August 15, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.