The 2019–20 Florida citrus crop forecast released on Jan. 10 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) held steady for oranges, tangerines and tangelos while grapefruit saw gains.
The Florida orange forecast is 74 million boxes, unchanged from the December forecast. If realized, this will be 3 percent more than last season’s final production. The forecast consists of 32 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, mid-season and Navel varieties) and 42 million boxes of Valencia oranges.
Final fruit size for non-Valencia oranges is below average, requiring 316 pieces to fill a 90 pound box. Final droppage, at 28 percent, is above average. The Navel forecast, included in the non-Valencia forecast, is unchanged at 800,000 boxes and is 3 percent of the non-Valencia total.
Current Valencia fruit size is below average and is projected to be below average at harvest. Current droppage is above average and projected to be above average at harvest.
The forecast for grapefruit rose 500,000 boxes from the December forecast, representing a 10 percent increase. If realized, this will be 20 percent more than last season’s final production. The red grapefruit forecast is now 4.5 million boxes. The white grapefruit forecast is 900,000 boxes.
Tangerines and Tangelos
The forecast for tangerine and tangelos is unchanged from the December forecast at 1.05 million boxes, 6 percent more than last season’s utilization of 990,000 boxes.
Mark your calendar! The next USDA citrus crop forecast of the 2019–20 season will be on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at approximately 12 noon Eastern Standard Time/9:00 a.m. Pacific Time. You will be able to tune in and hear the numbers as they are given by Mark Hudson from USDA/NASS headquarters in Washington, D.C.
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