On March 9, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reduced Florida’s orange and grapefruit crop forecasts again.
Valencia oranges took the biggest hit, dropping 3 million boxes, or 12%, to 23 million boxes. The forecast for the non-Valencia crop, which is virtually all harvested, actually rose 500,000 boxes, or 4%, to 18.2 million boxes. That means the total Florida orange forecast for the 2021–22 season is 41.2 million boxes, down 2.3 million boxes, or 5%, from the February forecast. If realized, the Florida orange crop will be 22% smaller than last season.
NASS reported that the current Valencia fruit size is below the minimum and is projected to be below the minimum at harvest, requiring 271 pieces of fruit to fill a 90-pound box. Current droppage is above the maximum and is projected to be above the maximum at harvest. Harvest of Valencia oranges is still in the early stages. The terms minimum and maximum refer to the previous 10 seasons, excluding the 2017–18 season that was affected by Hurricane Irma.
Florida’s grapefruit forecast was trimmed by 200,000 boxes, or 5%, to 3.9 million boxes. The red grapefruit and white grapefruit forecasts were both reduced by 100,000 boxes, to 3.2 million boxes and 700,000 boxes, respectively.
The forecast for Florida tangerines and tangelos was unchanged from February at 800,000 boxes.
NASS forecasts for other citrus-producing states were unchanged from February.
Hear the crop forecast:
The next update to the USDA citrus crop forecast is scheduled for April 8 at approximately 12 noon Eastern/9 a.m. Pacific time. Hear the broadcast at CitrusIndustry.net.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service
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