USDA’s March forecast held Florida’s citrus crop unchanged, with a 2% uptick in specialty citrus production. The all orange estimate is 45 million boxes, unchanged from the February forecast. If realized, this will be 35% less than last season’s production. The forecast consists of 19 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason, and Navel varieties) and 26 million boxes of Valencia oranges.
The forecast of all grapefruit production is unchanged at 4.65 million boxes. The white grapefruit forecast is unchanged at 850 thousand boxes. The red grapefruit forecast is unchanged at 3.8 million boxes.
The forecast for tangerine and tangelo production increased by 20,000 boxes to 880,000 boxes. If realized, this production level will be 46% less than last season’s production.
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said of the citrus estimate: “Florida’s citrus growers are still recovering from Hurricane Irma’s unprecedented damage, which today’s forecast shows is still unfolding in many groves six months later. Thankfully, Congress recently provided more than $2.3 billion for agricultural assistance, a critical first step to finally getting Florida’s growers long-awaited and desperately needed relief.”