Slight Squeeze Seen In Latest Florida Citrus Forecast

The 2011-2012 Florida all orange forecast released by the USDA Agricultural Statistics Board is 147 million boxes, down 2% from last month’s forecast, but 5% more than last season’s production. The total is comprised of 73 million boxes of the non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason, Navel, and Temple varieties) and 74 million boxes of Valencia oranges.

The forecast of non-Valencia production is reduced by 2 million boxes to 73 million boxes. Final fruit size is higher than average but below the previous projection, requiring an additional six pieces of fruit to fill a 90-pound box. Final droppage is higher than the maximum used in the regression. The Navel forecast, included in the non-Valencia forecast, is 2.6 million boxes, four of the non-Valencia total. The Row Count survey, conducted Jan. 3-4, 2012 showed more than 80% of Navel rows and nearly 50% of the other non-Valencia rows harvested.

The forecast of Valencia production is lowered by 1 million boxes to 74 million boxes. Current fruit size is just above average and is projected to continue above average although below the previous projection. With the decreased size projection, an additional five pieces of fruit would be required to fill a 90-pound box. Current droppage continues just above average and is projected to be above average at harvest.

The forecast of all grapefruit production is reduced by 200,000 boxes to 19.2 million boxes. The reduction is in the white grapefruit, now forecasted at 5.2 million boxes. The colored grapefruit forecast remains unchanged at 14 million boxes. White grapefruit current fruit size is below average and droppage continues to be above the maximum of seasons used in the regression.

Current fruit size of colored grapefruit is below average but the projected drop is slightly lowered.

The forecast of all tangerine production is reduced 100,000 boxes to 4.4 million boxes. The early tangerine forecast (Fallglo and Sunburst) remains at 2.4 million boxes. The harvest of Fallglo tangerines is complete and Sunburst tangerine weekly harvest has dropped below 100,000 boxes. The reduction is in the later maturing Honey variety now forecasted at 2.0 million boxes. The primary reasons for the decrease are the smaller than projected size and higher than projected droppage.

The forecast of tangelo production remains unchanged from the initial forecast of 1.1 million boxes. The Row Count survey showed nearly half of the rows harvested. Certified utilization has reached more tha 500,000 boxes according to the Citrus Administrative Committee’s report dated Jan. 1, 2012.

The projection for frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) is lowered to 1.56 gallons per box of 42° Brix concentrate. Last season’s final yield for all oranges was 1.586081 gallons per box, as reported by the Florida Department of Citrus. First yield projections for the components are 1.44 gallons per box for non-Valencia oranges and 1.70 for Valencia oranges.

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