Orlando-based citrus consultant Elizabeth Steger forecasts Florida growers will produce 130 million boxes of oranges in the 2013-2014 season that begins in October. Steger’s forecast is the first of the season, so it garners wide attention from growers and allied industry.
Last season’s fruit drop was the big story of the year. Steger had predicted a crop of 156.7 million boxes in 2012-2013, but USDA’s final estimate put the crop at 133.4 million boxes. During the course of the season, USDA dropped its own prediction by 13.4%, which started at 154 million boxes with its October estimate.
Only hours after Steger’s estimate, Winter Park-based firm Louis Dreyfus Citrus released its own numbers, pegging the 2013-2014 crop at 132 million boxes of oranges.
USDA’s first crop estimate is scheduled for Oct. 11.