Brazil Expects Much Smaller Orange Crop

Tacy CalliesBrazil, Crop Forecast


Brazil released its first orange crop forecast for the 2020-21 season on May 11. According to a report published by Fundecitrus and its cooperators, 287.76 million boxes are expected for the season for the São Paulo and West-Southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt.

The projected figure is 25.6 percent smaller than the previous crop of 386.79 million boxes, and 12.5 percent below the average crop size for the last 10 years. “It is a small crop, considering the production potential of groves,” states the report.

Total expected orange production in Brazil includes:

  • 45.53 million boxes of Hamlin, Westin and Rubi
  • 13.05 million boxes of Valencia Americana, Seleta and Pineapple
  • 87.04 million boxes of Pera Rio
  • 106.16 million boxes of Valencia and Valencia Folha Murcha
  • 35.98 million boxes of Natal

Eighty-five percent of production will come from the first and second blooms, while 12 percent and 8 percent, respectively, will come from the third and fourth blooms.  

“Crop loss was caused by a significant reduction in the number of fruits per tree as compared to that in the previous crop,” states the report. “The large production in the last crop season increased the consumption of nutrient reserves in plants, which became scarce and triggered the phenomenon known as alternate bearing. In addition to a lower energy availability for plants, the climate was also a negative influence.”

Adverse weather factors included high temperatures that affected the setting of newly formed fruit as well as low amounts of rainfall.

Average yield for 2020-21 is estimated at 790 boxes per hectare and 1.65 boxes per tree, compared to 1,045 boxes per hectare and 2.22 boxes per tree in 2019-20.

There are 174 million bearing orange trees in the citrus-growing regions of Brazil, a 0.16 percent increase from the previous inventory.

According to the forecast report, “The average number of fruits per tree in April 2020, disregarding fruit drop throughout the crop season, is calculated at 568. Flowering in groves was less intense than last year’s, which may be explained by the heavy fruit load in the last crop season, as well as by a shorter drought that therefore caused a lower water stress on plants.”

The fruit size projection is 257 fruit per 90-poud box, with oranges weighing approximately 5.61 ounces at harvest.

The projected average drop rate of oranges is 17 percent. The main reason for this projection is the increased intensity of citrus greening.

See the full report here.

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About the Author
Tacy Callies

Tacy Callies

Editor of Citrus Industry magazine