Florida Citrus Acreage Takes a Hit

Josh McGillAcreage, Florida

Total citrus acreage in Florida dropped 8% in the past year, to 375,302 acres, according to the Commercial Citrus Inventory Preliminary Report. The report was released Sept. 7 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

citrus acreage
Photo by Tyler Jones, UF/IFAS

The net loss of 32,046 acres is 19,942 acres more than was lost the previous season. New plantings, at 7,980 acres, are down from last season. All citrus trees, at 55.8 million, are down 7% from a year ago.

In 2004, the year before HLB disease was discovered in Florida, the state had 748,555 citrus acres. In 1996, the state had 857,687 citrus acres.

Of the 24 published counties included in the survey, 23 recorded decreases in acreage. Only Brevard County showed an increase, going from 347 acres in 2021 to 352 acres this year. Hendry County lost the most acreage, down 6,640 acres from the previous season to the current 51,260 acres. DeSoto County records the most citrus acres at 64,641, followed by Polk at 62,005 and Highlands at 52,092.

Orange acreage is now at 343,659 acres, down 8% from the previous season. Valencia acreage accounts for 60% of the total orange acreage, non-Valencia acreage represents 38%, and the remaining orange acreage is unidentified.

Grapefruit acreage is now at 17,997 acres, down 10% from the previous season. White grapefruit (including seedy) is 12% of the total with 2,091 acres, while red grapefruit is 87% of the total with 15,667 acres. The remaining 1% is unidentified.

Specialty fruit acreage, at 13,646 acres, is down 10% from the previous season. Tangerines and tangelos account for 60% of the specialty fruit, with 8,205 acres. The remaining acreage includes lemons and other citrus acreage, with a total of 5,441 acres.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service