California growers are expected to produce 80 million cartons of navel oranges during the 2018-19 season, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s an 11% increase over last year.
Florida’s orange volume should be about 77 million 90-pound box equivalents, most of which will go to processing, said Andrew Meadows, director of communications for Lakeland-based Florida Citrus Mutual.
Orange production in Florida has been dwindling for years thanks to the scourge of the Asian citrus psyllid. Last year, the industry also suffered a blow from Hurricane Irma. But there's a hint of optimism this year.
Research at the University of Florida on citrus greening disease isn’t focused solely on helping trees fight the disease. Researchers also are attacking the source: the Asian citrus psyllid that spreads the disease.