Florida Citrus Value Takes a Hit

Tacy CalliesEconomics

© Florida Department of Citrus

A new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report shows the value of the Florida citrus crop has substantially shrunk in the past year. The 2019–2020 Citrus Summary report was released by USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service on Aug. 26. It shows the $729 million preliminary on-tree value of the 2019–2020 citrus crop is 19 percent less than the $902 million revised value for 2018–2019. 

Florida’s all-citrus production in 2019–2020 is 73.2 million boxes, down 5 percent from the previous season’s 77.4 million boxes. All-orange production decreased by 6 percent to 67.3 million boxes. Non-Valencia production at 29.7 million boxes is down 2 percent from the 2018–2019 season. Valencia orange production, at 37.7 million boxes, is down 9 percent. All-grapefruit production increased 8 percent to 4.85 million boxes. Tangerine and tangelo production in 2019–2020 is up 3 percent from the previous season. 

The top five citrus-producing counties were Polk (11.7 million boxes), DeSoto (11.5 million boxes), Highlands (10.3 million boxes), Hendry (9.83 million boxes) and Hardee (7.60 million boxes). Together, they account for 70 percent of the state’s total citrus production. The central area had the most citrus, followed by the western and southern areas. Oranges constituted 92 percent of the citrus production, grapefruit accounted for 7 percent, and tangerines and tangelos represented 1 percent. 

Estimates of county production are prepared from objective survey data used in forecasting citrus crop production. The apportionment of final harvest to the counties is based on bearing trees, an estimate of the average fruit per tree and the drop and size surveys. Sample size used in these surveys and the distribution of the sample groves around the state are chosen to minimize error in the estimates of production and are not to be considered as precise for the counties as at the state or area levels. 

Source: USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service