Florida finished its season by producing fewer cartons of oranges and grapefruit but slightly higher volumes of tangerines compared to last year.

Florida produces fewer grapefruit and oranges

Doug Ohlemeier

Florida citrus growers packed fewer cartons of grapefruit and oranges, but slightly more tangerines during the 2009-10 season.

According to a July 9 U.S. Department of Agriculture report, the state’s growers ended the 2009-10 season by packing 159.3 million equivalent cartons of all citrus, down from the 189 million packed the previous season and lower than the 178.5 million cartons it packed during the most recent five years.

The state’s grapefruit growers packed 20 million equivalent cartons, down from 21.7 million cartons last year and lower than the recent five-year average of 23 million cartons. The packout ranged 37 million to 52 million cartons during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

For oranges, growers packed 133.6 million equivalent cartons, lower than last year’s 162 million cartons and less than the recent five-year average of 149 million cartons. The average weighed in at 210 million cartons in the early 2000s.

Tangerines finished the season at 4.5 million equivalent cartons, up from last season’s 3.8 million cartons and similar to the 4.8 million cartons it has packed each year during the past five seasons.

Though only 4% to 5% of Florida’s total orange production ships fresh, 70% of its navels, 41% of its grapefruit and 57% of its tangerines typically ship to fresh market channels.