Florida’s citrus acreage declined another 3% in 2021, to 407,348 acres, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reported Sept. 8. That’s the lowest level since the NASS started keeping track of the acreage in 1966.
The net loss of 12,104 acres is 955 acres more than was lost last season. New plantings at 10,448 acres are up from the previous season. All citrus trees, at 59.7 million, are down 1%.
For the third consecutive season, DeSoto County had the most citrus acres at 66,638.
Florida’s orange acreage is now at 372,354, down 3% from the previous season.
Grapefruit acreage is 19,908, down 11%. Red grapefruit is 85% of the total; white grapefruit is 15%. The Indian River District has 69% of total grapefruit acreage.
Specialty fruit acreage, 15,086, is up 3%. Tangerines and tangelos account for 63% of the total. The remaining acreage includes lemons and other specialty varieties.
The NASS issues the annual Commercial Citrus Inventory, which reports acreage and trees, in cooperation with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
CROP VALUE AND PRODUCTION
Additionally, a Citrus Summary issued by the NASS stated that the $579 million preliminary on-tree value of Florida’s 2020-21 citrus crop is 17% less than the $696 million revised value for 2019-20.
Florida’s all-citrus production in 2020-21 was 57.8 million boxes, down 21% from the previous season’s 73.3 million boxes. All-orange production tumbled by 22% to 52.8 million boxes. All grapefruit production decreased 15% to 4.1 million boxes. Tangerine and tangelo production dropped 13% to 890,000 boxes.
Citrus acreage and production have been declining steadily since the devastating HLB disease was discovered in Florida in 2005.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service
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