LAKELAND, Fla. (May 9, 2014) -The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) monthly forecast of the 2013-2014 Florida orange crop released Friday inched up 300,000 boxes to 110.3 million boxes.
Early-mid varieties accounted for the full increase, coming in at 53.3 million boxes. Valencias remained at 57 million boxes.
“This is good news and we are hopeful there will not be any more decreases throughout the last two months of season,” said Michael W. Sparks, executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “It has been a challenging season to say the least but growers continue to produce quality fruit which is a testament to their resiliency.”
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 decreased 400,000 boxes from 16 million boxes to 15.6 million boxes. White grapefruit increased by 100,000 boxes while colored grapefruit were reduced by 500,000 boxes. Specialty fruit held steady at 3.83 million boxes. The yield for frozen concentrate orange juice (FCOJ) decreased from 1.60 to 1.58 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.