Slow Start for Fresh Florida Grapefruit Season

Ernie Neff Citrus Greening, Grapefruit

grapefruit shipments down

Duke Chadwell crunches fresh grapefruit numbers

Fresh Florida grapefruit shipments continue to decline in concert with the downturn in production resulting from HLB and other problems.

On October 26, the Florida Department of Citrus projected fresh Florida grapefruit shipments will be about 4.13 million boxes this season. Three seasons ago, in 2013-14, fresh Florida grapefruit shipments totaled 6.1 million boxes and have dropped in each season since.

“The fresh grapefruit shipments probably will be down again, but they track what our crop is,” says Citrus Administrative Committee Manager Duke Chadwell. He notes that the total grapefruit crop forecast is 39 percent lower than the 2013-14 crop, and that the projected shipments would be down 32 percent over the same time.

“The whole fresh season is off to a very slow start,” Chadwell reports. He attributes the slow start to storms delaying the start of harvesting season, fruit reaching maturity at a slower rate, and smaller fruit sizes so far.

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About the Author

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large