The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service released its monthly U.S. citrus production forecast on Jan. 12.
The report showed another 3% drop in Florida orange production down to 44.5 million boxes. The initial forecast in October predicted 47 million boxes. The forecast for all oranges fell by 1.5 million boxes from the December report.
Florida’s non-Valencia orange production was down by 3% to 17.5 million boxes. The Navel crop is included in the non-Valencia number but remains unchanged at 450,000 boxes. The Valencia crop estimate dropped by 1 million boxes (4%) from the December forecast to 27 million boxes.
Fruit drop continues to be a big story in the orange crop. USDA reports that drop in non-Valencia (excluding Navels) varieties is at 39%. Valencia fruit drop is above average and is projected to be above average at harvest.
The California orange forecast rose from 43.5 million boxes in December to 47.6 million boxes in the January estimate.
The Texas orange forecast dropped from 550,000 boxes to 400,000 boxes in the same timeframe.
The Florida grapefruit forecast is unchanged from December at 4.1 million boxes. If realized, this will be equal to last season’s final production. Fruit size of red grapefruit at harvest is projected to be average, and droppage is projected to be average. Projected fruit size of white grapefruit at harvest is above average. White grapefruit drop is projected to be below average.
The Texas grapefruit forecast tumbled from 3.1 million boxes in December to 1.6 million boxes in January.
California grapefruit also took a hit, decreasing from 3.9 million boxes to 3.5 million boxes.
TANGERINES AND TANGELOS
The forecast for Florida tangerines and tangelos is reduced 100,000 boxes from December and is now 800,000 boxes, 10% less than last season’s utilization of 890,000 boxes.
California tangerines and tangelos are holding steady at 21 million boxes.
Arizona lemon production is expected to increase. The January forecast stands at 1.4 million boxes, up from 1.3 million boxes in December.
The forecast for California lemon production rose from 21 million boxes to 23 million boxes.
Listen to the January Florida citrus crop forecast:
Hear the January forecast for all states:
The next USDA citrus forecast is scheduled for Feb. 9 at approximately 12 noon Eastern/9 a.m. Pacific time. Hear the broadcast at CitrusIndustry.net.
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Editor-in-Chief, AgNet Media Publications