Florida citrus production continues decline - The Packer

Florida citrus production continues decline

01/13/2014 01:50:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

The latest forecast shows continuing production declines for nearly all of Florida citrus, with citrus greening cutting production.

USDA Florida citrus forecastDoug OhlemeierThe latest USDA production estimate shows continuing declines in Florida citrus production, which includes grapefruit as well as oranges and tangerines. In a Jan. 10 report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the state’s production of oranges, grapefruit and tangerines will decline from 1%-6%.

All orange production is now estimated at 115 million equivalent-cartons, down 5% from the December forecast and 14% smaller than last season, according to the USDA.

Valencia production is down 6% and non-valencia oranges — which include early and mid-seasons — declined 4% with navels decreasing by 200,000 cartons to 1.9 million boxes.

White grapefruit declined 1% from the previous month’s estimate to 4.5 million cartons with the larger-produced color grapefruit unchanged.

SparksFor tangerines, production dropped 6% with early season fallglo and sunburst tangerines accounting for the 200,000 carton decline. Honey tangerines are projected to remain unchanged at 1.6 million cartons.

Tangelo production remains at 1 million cartons.

“Once again citrus greening rears its ugly head,” Michael Sparks, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Lakeland-based Florida Citrus Mutual, said in a news release. “We are in an unprecedented situation dealing with this disease and today’s crop estimate only emphasizes how important it is for research to uncover a solution.”

Though a majority of the state’s oranges ship to processed channels, nearly 70% of its navels, about half of its grapefruit and two-thirds of its tangerines ship fresh.

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