The numbers are expected to further decline, as the season’s initial forecast does not reflect Hurricane Ian damage.
The annual gathering of Florida citrus industry members to hear the first crop forecast of the season looked a little different this year. While growers once again came together at Putnam Ranch in Zolfo Springs to listen to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) live citrus crop forecast, their primary purpose was to get Hurricane Ian recovery information from invited speakers.
Bill Curtis, agricultural statistics administrator with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, broadcast the forecast numbers on Southeast AgNet Radio Network affiliate stations to AgNet Media’s Josh McGill. The Florida forecast numbers do not reflect Hurricane Ian damage, since grove surveys were already completed prior to the storm. Beginning in December, forecast updates will reflect the loss of fruit from Hurricane Ian.
The Florida orange forecast, at 28 million boxes, is down 32% from last season’s final utilization.
Florida non-Valencias are forecast at 11 million boxes, down 40% from 2021–22. The Florida Valencia orange forecast, at 17 million boxes, is down 25% from last season.
The forecast for California oranges is much brighter at 47.1 million boxes, up from last season’s 40.4 million boxes. California non-Valencias are expected at 38 million boxes and Valencias at 9.1 million boxes.
The Texas orange forecast, at 1.15 million boxes, is up substantially from 200,000 boxes.
Florida grapefruit production is forecast at 2 million boxes, down from 3.3 million boxes in 2021–22. This represents a 40% decline in the crop. Red varieties are at 1.8 million boxes, while white is at 200,000 boxes.
The forecast for California grapefruit production, 4.1 million boxes, is unchanged from last season.
Texas grapefruit production is expected to increase, from 1.7 million boxes last season to 2 million boxes this season.
TANGERINES AND TANGELOS
Florida tangerine and tangelo production is forecast at 700,000 boxes, a drop from last season’s 750,000 boxes.
California tangerines and tangelos are forecast at 20 million boxes, above last year’s 17.4 million boxes.
See the full USDA citrus crop forecast report here.
Listen to the citrus crop forecast:
The next update to the citrus crop forecast will be on Dec. 9 at approximately 12:00 p.m. on the Citrus Industry website.
Coverage of the citrus crop forecast is brought to you by Farm Credit and Florida Citrus Mutual.