|LAKELAND, Fla. (March 10, 2014) -The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) monthly forecast of the 2013-2014 Florida orange crop released Monday decreased slightly to 114 million boxes
The USDA estimated early-mid orange varieties down 1 million to 53 million boxes while Valencias remained at 61 million boxes.
“Everybody in the industry understands fruit drop has been an issue this season with our earlier varieties,” said Michael W. Sparks, executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “So it’s somewhat encouraging we lost less than one percent off the estimate this month. Maybe we’ve found some stability as we move into our Valencia harvest.”
“Despite the challenges we face, Florida growers continue to produce the best citrus products in the world.”
The USDA makes its initial estimate in October of each year and revises it monthly as the crop takes shape until the end of the season in July. However, the federal government shutdown delayed the initial estimate until Friday Nov. 8.
During the 2012-2013 season, Florida produced 133.6 million boxes of oranges. Visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Florida/Publications/Citrus/cpfp.htm for the complete USDA estimate.
The USDA’s estimate of the 2013-2014 Florida grapefruit crop dipped 500,000 boxes to 16 million. Specialty fruit is now at 4.15 million boxes, down 150,000. The yield for frozen concentrate orange juice (FCOJ) remained the same at 1.61 gallons per 90-pound box.
The Florida citrus industry creates a $9 billion annual economic impact, employing nearly 76,000 people, and covering about 550,000 acres. Founded in 1948, Florida Citrus Mutual is the state’s largest citrus grower organization. For more information, visit www.flcitrusmutual.com. To receive winter weather updates follow FCM on Twitter.