The season’s latest Florida citrus forecast shows continuing production declines across all varieties of oranges, grapefruit and tangerines.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dec. 10 report, fruit sizings are forecast to be below the minimum for all oranges and grapefruit and near the minimum for tangerines. Droppage is above average for oranges, above the maximum for grapefruit and about average for tangerines, according to the report.
The USDA forecasts about 121 million 7/10 bushel equivalent cartons of oranges for the 2013-14 season, which is 9% less than last season and down 4 million boxes from this season’s first report on Nov. 8.
While navels are expected to remain unchanged at 2.1 million equivalent cartons, mid-season oranges and valencias are expected to see lower production.
Late-season valencias are forecast at 65 million cartons, down from last season’s 66.5 million cartons.
Grapefruit production is set to drop by 1.1 million 7/10 bushel equivalent cartons from the season’s first report.
This season, Florida growers are predicted to pack 16.7 million equivalent cartons of grapefruit compared to last season’s 18.3 million cartons.
Though tangerine production is expected to fall 150,000 equivalent cartons from the earlier season report, total tangerine production is estimated to increase to 3.6 million cartons with last season’s 3.3 million cartons, according to the USDA.
Though a majority of the state’s oranges ship to processed channels, about 70% of its navels, half of its grapefruit and two-thirds of its tangerines ship fresh.