According to Mark Hudson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the January 2018 Florida all-orange forecast is 46 million boxes, unchanged from the December forecast. If realized, this will be 33 percent 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.
For non-Valencia oranges, final fruit size is below average, requiring 286 pieces of fruit to fill a 90-pound box. Final droppage, at 62 percent, is above the maximum. The January row count survey showed 73 percent of early-midseason rows and 83 percent of Navel rows are harvested. Current fruit size for Valencia oranges 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.
The forecast for Florida grapefruit production is unchanged at 4.65 million boxes. Tangerine and tangelo production has been reduced 50,000 boxes to 860,000 boxes, down 5 percent from last month, and 47 percent less than last season’s production.
Hear the forecast:
“Florida continues to face its lowest citrus forecast in more than 75 years,” said Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus. “While the temporary comfort of a stable forecast gives us a moment to breathe, it doesn’t hide the fact that this industry remains in crisis due to the impact of Hurricane Irma.”
The next citrus crop forecast is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. Hear the forecast as it is given by Hudson from Washington, D.C., at approximately 12 noon Eastern/9:00 a.m. Pacific time.
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