Florida citrus crops, already at historically low levels, were forecast Jan. 12 to fall even lower. The all-orange forecast fell 10% from the December projection. The grapefruit and tangerine/tangelo forecasts both tumbled 17%. The forecast was issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA NASS).
If realized, the orange, grapefruit and tangerine/tangelo crops will be 56%, 55% and 33% less than last season, respectively.
The Florida all-orange forecast fell to 18 million boxes, down 2 million boxes from December. The non-Valencia forecast was unchanged at 7 million boxes. The Valencia forecast declined 2 million boxes, or 15%, to 11 million boxes.
Final non-Valencia fruit size is close to the minimum, and final droppage at 76% is above the maximum. Current Valencia fruit size is below the minimum and projected to be below the minimum at harvest. Current Valencia droppage is above the maximum and projected to be above the maximum at harvest.
Florida’s grapefruit forecast is for 1.5 million boxes, down 300,000 boxes from December. The entire reduction came in red grapefruit, now at 1.32 million boxes. The white grapefruit forecast remains unchanged at 180,000 boxes.
Fruit size of red grapefruit at harvest is projected to be below average, and droppage is projected to be above the maximum. Projected white grapefruit size at harvest is above average, and droppage is projected to be above average.
The Florida tangerine/tangelo forecast of 500,000 boxes is a reduction of 100,000 from December.
California all-orange production is forecast to decline to 46.1 million boxes, down 1 million boxes from December. The Texas orange forecast is unchanged at 1.15 million boxes.
Grapefruit projections for California and Texas both climbed by 200,000 boxes, to 4.3 million boxes and 2.2 million boxes, respectively.
Arizona’s lemon forecast soared to 1.5 million boxes, up 350,000 boxes from December. The California lemon forecast dipped to 22 million boxes, down 1 million from December.
California’s tangerine/tangelo forecast is up 2 million boxes for a total of 22 million boxes.
Read the full forecast report from USDA NASS here.
Listen to the crop forecast:
The next update to the citrus crop forecast will be on Feb. 8 at approximately 12:00 p.m. on the Citrus Industry website.
Source: USDA NASS