Citrus report shows orange gains

01/20/2011 04:42:08 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Despite the latest forecast showing all U.S. orange production has declined from the previous month’s estimates, in most cases, U.S. orange production is forecast to increase from last season.

On Jan. 12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its monthly forecast, which shows total orange production at 202 million boxes, up from 191.7 million boxes for the 2009-10 season.While all Florida orange production and Florida valencia oranges increased, Florida’s nonvalencias declined 2.4%.

Florida grapefruit remains unchanged with Florida tangerines down 200,000 boxes because of utilization, according to the USDA.

Florida Citrus Mutual, Lakeland, notes the loss of 3 million boxes of oranges.

“The new estimate reflects fruit size, which was smaller than anticipated, and some preliminary effects of December’s cold weather,” Mike Sparks, Citrus Mutual’s executive vice president and chief executive officer, said in a news release.

“While the industry as a whole came through the cold in decent shape, we did have frozen fruit and leaf damage across most of the growing regions as well as more extensive damage in a few select areas, and this report reflects that.”

Sparks said the industry should see more changes in future monthly crop estimates as freeze damage becomes more apparent.

Though most of Florida’s oranges ship to processors, about 70% of its navels and tangerines and 40% of its grapefruit ship fresh.



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