Florida Citrus Crop Forecast: Oranges Down; Grapefruit Holds Steady

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orangeAs of Dec. 12, the 2017-2018 Florida all-orange forecast released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is 46 million boxes. This figure is down 8 percent from the November forecast. If realized, this forecast will be 33 percent less than last season’s production and the least since the 1944-1945 season of 42.2 million boxes.

The forecast consists of 19 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason and Navel varieties) and 27 million boxes of Valencia oranges. Regression data used are from the 2007-2008 through 2016-2017 seasons. For those previous 10 seasons, the December forecast has deviated from final production by an average of 6 percent, with eight seasons above and two below, with differences ranging from 16 percent below to 16 percent above.

Florida crop forecast:

All states crop forecast:

Non-Valencia Oranges
The forecast for non-Valencia production is lowered 2 million boxes to 19 million boxes. Current fruit size is below average and projected to be below average at harvest. Current droppage is above the maximum and is projected to be above the maximum until harvest. The Navel forecast, included in the non-Valencia forecast, is lowered to 500,000 boxes and is 3 percent of the non-Valencia total. Final Navel size is below average and droppage is well above the maximum.

Valencia Oranges
The forecast for Valencia production is reduced 2 million boxes to 27 million boxes. If realized, this will be the smallest Florida Valencia crop since the 1949-1950 season. Current fruit size is below average and is projected to be below average at harvest. Current droppage is above the maximum and projected to be above the maximum at harvest.

Grapefruit
The forecast for all-grapefruit production is unchanged at 4.65 million boxes. If realized, this forecast will be 40 percent less than last season’s production and the least recorded since the 1918-1919 season. 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 projected to be above average, and droppage is projected to be above the maximum.

Tangerines and Tangelos
The forecast for tangerine and tangelos is reduced 40,000 boxes to 910,000 boxes, 44 percent less than last season’s production, and down 4 percent from last month. This forecast number includes all certified tangerine and tangelo varieties.

USDA/NASS December 2017 Citrus Maturity Test Results and Fruit Size form

The January citrus crop forecast will be released on Friday, January 12, 2018, at approximately 12:00 noon Eastern/9:00 a.m. Pacific time. You can listen to the numbers as they are released here on citrusindustry.net.

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