According to updated estimates from USDA, the Florida orange crop is heading in the right direction — finally.
The state’s 2015-2016 orange crop is now forecast at 76 million boxes, up 5 million boxes from last month’s estimate, and up 7 million boxes over the last two months.
The estimated breakdown for April is as follows: 36 million boxes of early, midseason, Navel, and Temple varieties; plus 40 million boxes of Valencias.
Prior to the two most recent forecasts, Florida oranges had a lengthy streak of dramatic losses and intermittent pauses dating back to the final tally from last season.
In a statement, Mike Sparks, Executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, said: “It’s nice to be in expansion rather than reduction mode while knowing growers are still producing a quality crop. But our industry remains at historically low production levels as we continue to battle HLB.”
The overall grapefruit estimate came in at 10.7 million boxes. This is even with last month’s count.
The next estimate from USDA is scheduled for May 10.