There were high expectations (relatively speaking) heading into the 2018-2019 Florida citrus season. It was to be a comeback year for the industry. Turns out, it has been to a degree. Despite the latest forecast figures from the USDA that shows the all-Florida orange crop estimate losing 1 million boxes of Valencias from last month’s report, the overall count stands at 71.4 million boxes, which is more than 26 million boxes better than last season.
June’s estimate comprises 30.4 million boxes of early mids and navels plus 41 million boxes of Valencia oranges. The government agency’s forecast for grapefruit production dropped another 70,000 boxes to 4.51 million boxes total. Last season’s Florida grapefruit total yielded 3.88 million boxes.
“Considering steep fluctuations in previous seasons, getting through to this part of the season with relatively stable numbers is a win,” said Shannon Ross Shepp, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Citrus, in a prepared news release.
The final USDA citrus crop report for 2018-2019 is slated to release July 11.