March Citrus Forecast Has Changes

Tacy Callies Crop Forecast

There were two changes to the Florida citrus forecast in the March 8 report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA NASS).  

Florida’s grapefruit forecast dipped 8% in March compared to the February forecast, and its tangerine and tangelo forecast declined 9%.

The entire decline in Florida grapefruit was in the red varieties, down by 200,000 boxes to 1.9 million boxes. The total Florida grapefruit crop is now forecast at 2.2 million boxes, down from 2.4 million boxes in February. A Feb. 26–27 row count indicated 84% of grapefruit rows have been harvested.

The forecast for Florida tangerines and tangelos is 500,000 boxes. This is down 50,000 boxes from February but up 4% from last season’s utilization of 480,000 boxes.

Florida’s all-orange forecast was unchanged at 19.8 million boxes.

The row count survey conducted Feb. 26–27 showed 98% of the early and mid-season non-Valencia rows, excluding navels, are harvested.

Harvest of Valencia oranges is still in the early stages. Current Valencia fruit size is below average and is projected to be below average at harvest, requiring 260 pieces to fill a 90-pound box. Current droppage is above average and projected to be above average at harvest.

California’s all-orange forecast rose 200,000 boxes from February to 46 million boxes. The entire increase was in Valencia oranges, now forecast at 8 million boxes.

California’s grapefruit, tangerine/tangelo and lemon forecasts were all unchanged.

Forecasts for all Texas citrus varieties were unchanged, as was the forecast for Arizona lemons.

See the full USDA NASS citrus crop forecast report here.

The next update to the citrus crop forecast will be on April 11 at approximately 12:00 p.m. on the Citrus Industry website.