While the state’s citrus crop is headed toward historic lows after being pummeled by Hurricane Irma and citrus greening, USDA’s Agricultural Statistics Service January Florida’s citrus production forecast did provide some welcome news that production estimates remain unchanged from the December.
The 2017-2018 Florida all orange January forecast is 46 million boxes. If realized, this will be 33% less than last season’s production. The forecast consists of 19 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason, and Navel varieties) and 27 million boxes of Valencia oranges.
Grapefruit remains unchanged as well coming in at 4.65 million boxes. The white grapefruit forecast is unchanged at 850,000 boxes. The red grapefruit forecast is unchanged at 3.80 million boxes. Projected fruit size of white grapefruit at harvest is above average while projected droppage is above the maximum. Projected fruit size of red grapefruit at harvest is above average and droppage is projected to be above the maximum.
The only reduction in the citrus production forecast came with the estimate for the tangerine and tangelo production, which is reduced 50,000 boxes to 860,000, down 5% from last month. This would be 47% less than last season’s production.
Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said the forecast, while unchanged from last month, underscores growers’ need for help. “Florida’s iconic citrus industry and its growers continue to struggle with the unprecedented damage caused by Hurricane Irma. This damage, combined with the cumulative impacts of citrus greening, leaves Florida’s growers in desperate need of support. I will continue to work with Gov. Scott and leaders in Washington to get Florida’s growers the relief they need to rebuild and replant,” he said in a statement following ing the estimate.