Florida’s Valencia orange crop forecast was cut by 13%, and the state’s grapefruit crop projection was trimmed by 8% in the April 8 forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The Valencia crop projection was reduced by 3 million boxes, to 20 million boxes. Final fruit size is below the minimum, requiring 273 pieces of fruit to fill a 90-pound box. Final droppage, measured at 51%, is above the maximum and the highest since at least the 1960–61 season, excluding hurricane seasons. The forecast for the non-Valencia crop, which is virtually all harvested, was unchanged at 18.2 million boxes, making the total Florida orange forecast 38.2 million boxes.
The Florida grapefruit forecast dropped 300,000 boxes to 3.6 million boxes. Red grapefruit were trimmed by 200,000 boxes, to 3 million boxes. White grapefruit were reduced by 100,000 boxes, to 600,000 boxes. More than 93% of both varieties had been completely harvested by late March.
Forecast changes were made in some other citrus-producing states. California’s all-orange crop was projected at 51.3 million boxes, up from 47.6 million boxes in March. The Texas all-orange projection was trimmed from 400,000 boxes in March to 350,000 boxes in April.
California’s grapefruit projection was raised from 3.5 million boxes to 4.1 million boxes. The Texas grapefruit forecast climbed from 1.6 million boxes to 2 million boxes.
Arizona’s lemon forecast rose from 1.4 million boxes to 1.5 million boxes. California’s lemon forecast was unchanged at 21 million boxes.
Tangerines and tangelos are unchanged for Florida and California at 800,000 boxes and 21 million boxes, respectively.
The next update to the USDA citrus crop forecast is scheduled for May 12 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