Pests, diseases, and weather extremes aside, Florida citrus is hanging tough.
According to the updated crop forecast from USDA, Florida’s all-orange estimate remains unchanged from last month at 72 million boxes (36 million boxes of early, midseason, Navel, and Temple varieties; plus 36 million boxes of Valencias).
Through three estimates so far this season, the orange crop count has yet to dip. At this time one year ago, the projection had decreased twice, bottoming out at 69 million boxes.
In response to the latest numbers, Mike Sparks, Executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, stated: “In these challenging times, stability is a good thing. So I am encouraged that the number held.”
December’s overall grapefruit count did, however, decrease 3% from last month’s forecast to 9.3 million boxes.
USDA is scheduled to release its next crop report Jan. 12.