citrus production

U.S. Citrus Production in 2022–23: Winners and Losers

Daniel Cooper Production

citrus production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (USDA/NASS) final estimates for the 2022–23 season show U.S. citrus production reaching 4.9 million tons, down 12% from 2021–22. This marks the lowest combined production levels for U.S. citrus in at least 50 years.

The U.S. citrus crop was valued at $2.6 billion in 2022–23, 13.5% below the prior year’s value.

Total U.S. production in 2022–23 was about 8% below the combined levels forecast by USDA NASS at the start of the season. A lower than anticipated Valencia orange crop in Florida, and smaller navel orange and tangerine crops in California, account for most of this difference.

However, a handful of citrus commodities did exceed expectations. This includes grapefruit and Valencia oranges in Texas and lemons in California and Arizona.

Texas had an uncharacteristically large Valencia orange crop in 2022–23 as more acreage has matured into bearing status. At the same time, Texas’ early and mid-season orange crop came in at 24,000 tons, the second smallest in a decade.

While gains in Texas production of oranges and grapefruit over last season are encouraging for the state’s citrus producers, Texas grapefruit production has yet to return to its pre-winter storm Uri (2019–20) levels.

Arizona experienced a 12% increase in lemon production over the prior season, despite bearing acreage trending downward.

California remained the top citrus-producing state, accounting for approximately 92% of fresh market production in the United States.

There were notable increases in both the quantity and share of U.S.-grown citrus for the fresh market for the 2022–23 season. This is primarily due to larger navel orange, tangerine and lemon crops in California over the prior season. By contrast, citrus for processing reached a historic low of 1.8 million tons.

The historically small U.S citrus crop is mostly due to declining Florida production of oranges. Florida has experienced long-term declines in its citrus acreage and yields since the 2004–05 season. These production declines in Florida orange, grapefruit and tangerine crops are frequently attributed to the effects of citrus greening disease. Severe weather shocks such as Hurricane Irma in September 2017 and Hurricane Ian in September 2022 also play major roles in year-over-year declines.

Total citrus production in Florida was 811,000 tons in 2022–23, down 60% from the previous season. Although it is unclear how much of theyear-over-year decline is directly attributable to damage from Hurricane Ian, realized production is below the level predicted at the outset of the season. The initial October 2022 forecast, which did not yet account for losses from Hurricane Ian, estimated Florida production at nearly 1.4 million tons. Therefore, losses attributable to Hurricane Ian in 2022–23 may be as high as 42% of production in the state.

See more in-depth information about the 2022–23 citrus crop in the USDA Economic Research Service’s Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook.

Source: USDA Economic Research Service

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