Mark Hudson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA/NASS) reported the latest update to the 2019-2020 citrus crop forecast on March 10.
The Florida non-Valencia forecast is lowered 1 million boxes to 30 million boxes. The row count survey conducted Feb. 25-26 showed 98 percent of the early-midseason rows are harvested. California remained at 40 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges.
The forecast for Florida Valencia production is unchanged from the previous forecast of 41 million boxes. Current fruit size is below average and is projected to be below average at harvest, requiring 246 pieces to fill a 90-pound box. California saw a slight decrease from 9 million to 8.5 million boxes of Valencia oranges.
Florida grapefruit production is down 8 percent to 5.40 million boxes. The white grapefruit forecast is unchanged from the previous forecast at 900,000 boxes. The red grapefruit forecast is lowered 500,000 boxes to 4.5 million boxes. California grapefruit remained at 4.1 million boxes.
Tangerines and Tangelos
The Florida forecast for tangerines and tangelos is unchanged from the February forecast of 1.05 million boxes. California is expected to have 22 million boxes, which is the same as the February forecast.
Mark your calendar! The next USDA citrus crop forecast for the 2019-20 season will be April 9 at approximately 12 noon Eastern Daylight Savings time/9:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Tune in to hear the numbers as they are given by Mark Hudson from USDA/NASS headquarters in Washington, D.C.