USDA’s first estimate of the Florida citrus crop says it will increase about 5% to 154 million boxes during the 2012-2013 season.
The esitimate is revised monthly as the crop takes shape until the end of the season in July.
“The figure released by the USDA today is smaller than the private estimates circulating around the industry,” says Michael W. Sparks, executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “It’s certainly a manageable crop for Florida citrus growers, and I am hopeful at this size, the market will continue to put upward pressure on fruit pricing.”
The USDA’s 2012-2013 Early-mid estimate is 74 million boxes, down a fraction from last season. The Valencia forecast is 80 million boxes, up from the 72.4 million boxes produced in 2011-2012. For Florida specialty fruit, the USDA predicts 1.2 million boxes of tangelos and 4.4 million boxes of tangerines. Those numbers are up slightly from last season.
The yield for from concentrate orange juice (FCOJ) is 1.61 gallons per 90-pound box.
The USDA predicts Florida will harvest 20.3 million boxes of grapefruit in 2012-2013, an increase from last season’s final total of 18.85 million boxes.