Alico President and CEO John Kiernan recently pointed out that the company had less orange crop decline than Florida as a whole in the 2021–22 citrus season. He noted that while the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that the Florida crop declined 22.7% from the prior season, Alico’s decline was only 12.9%.
“The company believes this lower rate of decline … is due to efficiencies generated from the company’s comprehensive grove management program, as well as certain precautionary measures the company took to minimize the impact of the (late January) freeze event,” Kiernan stated.
For the nine months that ended June 30, Alico harvested approximately 5.5 million boxes of fruit. The decrease from the prior season was principally related to fewer pieces of fruit on the trees and greater fruit drop. Additionally, the company reported that the January freeze adversely impacted the Valencia crop. The company’s early and mid-season crop was substantially harvested before the freeze. Kiernan said the freeze “was at an intensity that we believe had not occurred in Florida for almost 20 years.”
DECREASE IN POUND SOLIDS
Alico’s blended average pound solids per box was 5.28 for the nine months ended June 30, compared to 5.66 for the same period a year earlier. The decline was mainly due to the internal quality of the fruit not being as strong as it was in the previous year and the company deciding to accelerate the harvesting of the Valencia crop. Harvesting was accelerated to maximize the box production and to avoid additional fruit drop as a result of the freeze.
The company realized an increase in the price per pound solid of 7.2% for the nine months ended June 30 compared to the same period in the prior year. A significant reason for this improvement was lower production levels in Florida and Brazil, and the continued strong consumption of not-from-concentrate orange juice.
The company received $2.56 per pound solid for early and midseason oranges in the most recent season, versus $2.32 the prior season. It received $2.67 per pound solid for Valencias, versus $2.54 the prior season.
Kiernan said Alico believes its long-term investments and improvements, including aggressive tree replanting and cost management, should result in increased box production in the future.
Alico will grow citrus on approximately 37,000 net citrus acres next season, Kiernan added.
View Alico’s full report on its latest citrus season.
Source: Alico, Inc.
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