|LAKELAND, Fla. (April 9, 2014) -The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) monthly forecast of the 2013-2014 Florida orange crop released Wednesday decreased by 4 million boxes to 110 million boxes.
A reduction in Valencias from 61 million boxes to 57 million boxes accounted for the drop. Early-mid varieties remained at 53 million boxes.
“We continue to feel the effects of HLB, or citrus greening disease, in groves across Florida,” said Michael W. Sparks, executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “The silver lining is that the tight supply will put upward pressure on grower returns, however that is not sustainable in the long term. That’s why finding a solution to this destructive disease in the laboratory is so important.”
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 remained at 16 million boxes. Specialty fruit is now at 3.83 million boxes, down 320,000. The yield for frozen concentrate orange juice (FCOJ) decreased from 1.61 to 1.60 gallons per 90-pound box.
The Florida citrus industry creates a $9 billion annual economic impact, employing nearly 76,000 people, and covering about 525,000 acres. Founded in 1948, Florida Citrus Mutual is the state’s largest citrus grower organization. For more information, visit www.flcitrusmutual.com. Follow FCM on Twitter @FLCITRUSMUTUAL.