BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — The latest forecast shows continuing production declines for Florida oranges.
In a June 11 report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the state’s production of valencias, the deal’s late season crop, decreased 6 million equivalent cartons to 51 million cartons.
That decline brought the total orange crop to 104.3 million boxes compared to the 133.6 million equivalent cartons the state harvested last season.
Most of the state’s valencias ship to processed channels.
The USDA estimates the season’s grapefruit crop to remain at 15.6 million boxes and pegged specialty fruit, the tangerines and tangelos, at 3.83 million boxes.
The drop in orange production wasn’t unexpected for Lakeland-based Florida Citrus Mutual.
“This decrease is about what we expected with the continuing effects of HLB, or citrus greening so we are not surprised,” Michael Sparks, the organization’s executive vice president and chief executive officer, said in a news release. “The flip side is without the resiliency and superior production methods of the Florida citrus grower it could have been worse. The crop is still very high quality.”
The final season forecast is scheduled for July 11.