USDA lowers Florida orange estimate slightly
The U.S. Department of Agriculture adjusted its estimate for the Florida orange crop to 77 million boxes, down 3% from October.
Early, midseason and navel varieties are forecast at 32 million boxes, down 6% from last month, according the USDA crop report released Nov. 8. Valencias are forecast at 45 million boxes, unchanged from last month’s estimate.
The grapefruit crop forecast decreased by 300,000 to 6.4 million.
While some of the projections have been lowered, the numbers still represent a massive improvement on the 2017-18 season, when the crop was devastated by Hurricane Irma in September.
California is projected to produce 49 million boxes of oranges, up from 45.4 million last year. The state is expected to have 40 million boxes of early, midseason and navel varieties, up from 35.9 million last year.
Texas is expected to produce 1.8 million boxes of early, midseason and navel varieties and 600,000 boxes of valencia oranges.
The USDA projected 3.9 million boxes of grapefruit from California, down slightly from last season. Florida is expected to produce 6.4 million boxes, including 5.3 million of red grapefruit and 1.1 million of white grapefruit. Texas is forecast to have 6.2 million boxes of grapefruit this season, up from 4.8 million in 2017-18.
California is expected to increase mandarin and tangerine production from 19.2 million boxes to 23 million boxes, and Florida’s volume is forecast to grow from 750,000 boxes to 1.2 million boxes.
Arizona is projected to produce 1.4 million boxes of lemons, up from 1 million last year. California’s production is expected to dip slightly from 21.2 million to 20 million.