Latest Florida Citrus Forecast Shows the Bleeding Has Stopped for Now

Finally. For the first time during the 2022-2023 citrus season in Florida, the USDA crop estimate hasn’t dropped. The campaign has been marred greatly by extreme weather events and their after-effects, mostly from Hurricanes Ian and Nicole.


The March report from USDA shows all-orange production at 16.1 million boxes. This is up 1% from last month’s forecast, but still more than 60% less than last season’s final output.

Early and mid-season varieties are nearly all harvest. Attention now turns to Valencias, which are in the early harvest stage. What is being seen in the groves so far? The report reads as follows: “Current fruit size is below the minimum and is projected to be below the minimum at harvest, requiring 277 pieces to fill a 90-pound box. Current droppage is above the maximum and projected to be above the maximum at harvest.”

Grapefruit production also saw a tiny gain over last month. The March estimate rose to 1.6 million boxes, up 100,000 boxes from last month.

Was It Really That Long Ago?

During the 1997-1998 season, 244 million boxes of oranges (a record high) were harvested in Florida. During the 1996-1997 season, 55.8 million boxes of grapefruit were harvested.

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