At 115 million boxes, Florida’s latest all orange forecast from USDA remains unchanged from January’s estimate, but is down 14% from last season’s final tally.
Early, midseason, and navel varieties are still expected to come in at 54 million boxes (down 20% from last season). The Valencia crop outlook held steady at 61 million boxes (down 8% from last season).
“Growers are battling HLB on a daily basis so it’s somewhat of a relief that the crop remained the same as we shift to our Valencia harvest,” said Michael W. Sparks, executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “The good news is that Congress and president Obama passed and signed a Farm Bill that contains $125 million over the next five years for citrus research.
“The investment in our industry will most certainly pay dividends as the best and brightest minds are working to solve this puzzle.”
On the brighter side, all tangerine production numbers actually increased 100,000 boxes to 3.5 million boxes. The early tangerine forecast (Fallglo and Sunburst) is unchanged at 1.8 million boxes. Early tangerine harvest is complete for this season. The forecast of the later maturing Honey variety increased to 1.7 million boxes.
The forecast of all grapefruit production increased to 17 million boxes. The white grapefruit estimate continues at 4.5 million boxes while the colored grapefruit increased 500,000 boxes to 12.5 million boxes.
The Florida frozen concentrated orange juice yield forecast held serve at 1.61 gallons per box.
Going forward, USDA will revise its outlook each month as the crop takes shape until the end of the season in July.
Click here to see the completed USDA estimate.