Prospects for Florida Oranges Fall Further As Season Nears End

Has the Florida citrus industry seen the bottom yet? No doubt, growers are getting weary of the severely declining output from their groves. And the trend shows no sign of relenting. The latest orange crop forecast from USDA clipped another 450,000 boxes of oranges from its estimate. The all-orange forecast now stands at 15.7 million boxes.

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If the figure holds, it will be 62% less than last season’s harvest. According to the May report, the row count survey conducted late last month indicated 98% of the Valencia rows were harvested. “Analysis of estimated utilization to the first of the month and results of the processors report support decreasing the Valencia orange forecast.”

Early forecasts coming into the 2022-2023 season already were looking gloomy. Then, Hurricanes Ian and Nicole hit. The after-effects have been salt in the wound.

PBS NewsHour Weekend just aired an interesting segment about the current situation facing the Florida citrus industry. The broadcast examines the key factors driving what will likely be “the worst citrus harvest since the Great Depression.” The interview included Frank Hunt of Hunt Brothers Citrus; Michael Rogers of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center; Brenda Eubanks-Burnette of the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame; and more. Check out the clip below.

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Only two more crop forecasts remain for the 2022-2023 season.

The next one is scheduled for June 9.

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