Citrus acreage in Florida is down 5% from 2016 and at its lowest level since the current series of surveys began in 1966.
Acreage dropped from 480,121 last year to 454,973 acres this year, according to the Preliminary Commercial Citrus Inventory Report.
The gross loss of 36,863 acres is the largest since the U.S. Department of Agriculture started conducting its census in one-year intervals in 2009. Mitigating the loss to a limited degree were 11,715 acres of new plantings, up 16% from 2016.
Of the 25 counties included in the survey, 21 saw decreases. DeSoto, Charlotte, Hendry and Collier counties were the exceptions.
Orange acreage, which accounts for the vast majority of citrus acreage in Florida, was down 19,896 acres to 405,832, a decrease of nearly 5%.
The USDA reported grapefruit acreage down to 36,084, a drop of 10% from 2016 and also at its lowest level in more than 50 years.
Specialty fruit acreage, including tangelos and tangerines, was 13,057, down from 14,077 last year, a slip of 7%.