The latest USDA forecast for Florida citrus production shows oranges declining while grapefruit and tangerines remain unchanged in season to-date harvesting.
The latest USDA forecast for Florida citrus production shows oranges declining while grapefruit and tangerines remain unchanged in season to-date harvesting.

Florida orange production continues to decline, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

On Jan. 12, the USDA forecast midseason and late season orange production declined 5% from the Dec. 10 report and fell 2% from the previous season.

Grapefruit and tangerine production remained unchanged.

In the newest report, the USDA forecast Florida non-valencia oranges, which include early, midseason, navel and temple varieties, to decline 4 million equivalent cartons to 48 million cartons and valencias to fall 1 million cartons to 55 million cartons.

Droppage for all orange varieties is reported to be high and fruit size is small as well with sizings for non-valencia oranges reported to be the lowest since 1961, according to the USDA.

Navel production remains unchanged at 1.5 million cartons.

On grapefruit, total production is forecast at 15 million cartons and tangerines are forecast at 2.5 million cartons.

Overall, Florida growers are forecast to harvest 121.3 million equivalent cartons of citrus, down from last season’s 124 million cartons and considerably lower than the 169 million carton 2009-13 average.

While about 96% of the state’s oranges ship to processed channels, 65% of its navels, 63% of its tangerines, 40% of its grapefruit and about 10% of its overall citrus ship fresh, according to the USDA.