Forecast for Florida Citrus Production Plummets

Tacy CalliesCrop Forecast

Fruit and tree loss from Hurricane Ian has drastically reduced Florida’s 2022-23 citrus crop.

The first federal citrus crop forecast to take into account damage from September’s Hurricane Ian dropped Florida’s projected orange crop for 2022–23 to 20 million boxes. That’s 29% below the initial forecast of 28 million boxes in October, 51% less than last season’s final production of 41.05 million boxes and the lowest orange forecast in many decades.

Florida’s non-Valencia and Valencia orange forecasts were both reduced by 4 million boxes from October. The non-Valencia projection of 7 million boxes is a reduction of 36% from October. The Valencia forecast of 13 million boxes is a reduction of 24%.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service projected fruit drop for all oranges to be above the maximum. It projected non-Valencia orange fruit size to be below average at harvest and for Valencia orange fruit size to be below the minimum at harvest. References to average, 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 10% from October’s 2-million-box projection to 1.8 million boxes, 46% less than last season’s final production. Red grapefruit took the biggest hit, dropping from 1.8 million boxes to 1.62 million boxes. White grapefruit fell from 200,000 boxes to 180,000 boxes.

Fruit sizes for both red and white grapefruit are projected to be below average at harvest. Fruit drop is expected to be above the maximum for red grapefruit and above average for white grapefruit.

The Florida tangerine and tangelo forecast dipped 14 percent from October’s 700,000-box projection to 600,000 boxes. That’s 20% less than last season’s utilization.

The production forecasts for other U.S. citrus-producing states were all unchanged from October. Those forecasts are:

  • California oranges, 47.1 million boxes
  • Texas oranges, 1.15 million boxes
  • California grapefruit, 4.1 million boxes
  • Texas grapefruit, 2 million boxes
  • Arizona lemons, 1.15 million boxes
  • California lemons, 23 million boxes
  • California tangerines and tangelos, 20 million boxes

See the full forecast here.

The next update to the citrus crop forecast will be on Jan. 12 at approximately 12:00 p.m. on the Citrus Industry website.

Coverage of the USDA citrus crop forecast is brought to you by Farm Credit and Florida Citrus Mutual.

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