Grower Reacts to Citrus Forecast

Ernie NeffCrop Forecast

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John Gose

John Gose with Lykes Citrus was among the growers who gathered at a Florida Citrus Mutual luncheon in Bartow to hear the announcement of the initial citrus crop forecast of the 2019–20 season. He offers his perspectives on the forecast in this interview with Citrus Industry magazine Editor Tacy Callies.

“It was pretty close to what I was expecting,” Gose says of the 74 million-box orange forecast. His guesstimate had been 75.2 million boxes, just a little higher than the forecast. “The number is one thing, but what actually gets delivered in (to processing plants) is another thing,” Gose says. “Hopefully it’ll mean better pricing in the future, but right now prices are not looking real good.”

Gose says his company’s fruit is 100 percent committed to buyers for this season, but adds that he’s heard that several million boxes of oranges are not yet committed. Indeed, several Florida citrus growers have said they’ve received no offers for their fruit this season because of the existing large orange juice inventories. The large inventories reportedly exist because Florida processors bought much imported juice following Hurricane Irma’s destruction of the Florida crop in September 2017.

The initial Florida grapefruit crop forecast was 4.6 million boxes, higher than Gose’s 4.2 million-box prediction. He says grapefruit growers will hopefully get good prices for their crop.

Gose says his company’s citrus crop is “looking good … We feel like we’ve got more fruit than we had last year.” Again, he says that the “big question” is how much fruit will actually be delivered to processing plants.

Hear more from Gose:

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Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large