USDA’s updated 2014-2015 Florida all orange forecast reveals a big hit for potential final harvest totals. The current projection is now at 96.4 million boxes, down 5.6 million boxes (5%) from last month, and 8% down from last season’s final production number.
If the new estimate holds true, this season’s harvest will be the lowest since the 1965-1966 campaign, which tallied 95.9 million boxes (not including Temples).
The 96.4 estimate is broken down by 47.4 million boxes of early, midseason, Navel, and Temple varieties plus 49 million boxes of Valencias.
To add insult to injury, the overall grapefruit estimate fell for the second consecutive month. This time it was cut by another 100,000 boxes, down to 12.9 million boxes.
“There is no doubt about it we are certainly in challenging times,” said Mike Sparks, executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “This decrease is not a surprise from what we’ve been hearing out in the field. I would expect this kind of drop to put upward pressure on grower returns, and that’s a silver lining.”
Click here to see the entire forecast in detail.
The next estimate from USDA is scheduled to be released on June 10.