The February Florida orange forecast released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is 56 million boxes, up 2 million boxes from the January forecast. This represents a 4 percent increase from the January forecast. If realized, it will be 17 percent less than last season’s final production.
The forecast change was for non-Valencia production, which now stands at 22 million boxes. Size and drop components were final last month. The row count survey conducted Jan. 26-27 showed 84 percent of the early and mid-season non-Valencia rows, excluding Navels, are harvested.
The forecast for Valencia production is unchanged from January and remains at 34 million boxes. Current fruit size is below average and is projected to be below average at harvest.
“Today’s forecast gives us reason to be cautiously optimistic as we proceed through the remainder of the season,” said Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus. “We are hopeful growers will be able to harvest as much of the Valencia crop as possible with minimal drop in the months to come.”
The forecast for Florida all-grapefruit production is unchanged from December. Red grapefruit is forecast at 3.9 million boxes, and white grapefruit is forecast at 700,000 boxes.
TANGERINES AND TANGELOS
The forecast for tangerines and tangelos in Florida is down 50,000 boxes from the January forecast and is now 1.05 million boxes, representing a 5 percent decrease. The figure is still 3 percent more than last season’s utilization of 1.02 million boxes.
Hear the Florida citrus crop forecast report below:
No changes were reported in the forecast for California, Texas or Arizona. See the full forecast report here.
Mark your calendar for the next USDA citrus crop forecast of the 2020-21 season. It will be on Tuesday, March 9, at approximately 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time/9:00 a.m. Pacific Time. You will be able to hear the numbers on the Citrus Industry website as they are released from USDA.
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