The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a revised citrus forecast, with production in both major production statesCalifornia and Floridaincreasing.
The California valencia forecast is 16 million boxes, up 7 percent from the previous forecast and 45 percent above 2006-07. This brings California's all-orange forecast to 64 million boxes, up 2 percent from the Jan. 1 forecast and 42 percent higher than last season, which was freeze ravaged.
Florida’s 2007-2008 orange crop estimate increasing slightly to 167 million 90 pound boxes. The USDA previously estimated the orange crop at 166 million boxes.
“This remains a good-sized crop for the Florida citrus industry,” Mike Sparks, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Lakeland-based Florida Citrus Mutual, said in a news release. “At 167 million boxes, we can rebuild juice inventories and get solid prices for growers which is important to offset increased production costs related to pest and disease as well as the sharp spike in energy prices.”
The USDA says the 1 million box increase is composed entirely of early and mid-season varieties. The 167 million boxes are made up of 79 million boxes of early-mids, 3 million boxes of navels and 85 million boxes of valencias.
Florida orange production declined from 230 million boxes to 129 million boxes between the 2001-2002 and 2006-2007 seasons. The decline was largely due to hurricane damage, commercial development, and pests and diseases such as citrus canker and greening.
A 167 million box orange crop represents about a 30 percent increase from the 2006-2007 season.
Florida grapefruit numbers were static at 24.5 million boxes. Tangelos increased from 1.3 million boxes to 1.5 million boxes, and tangerines remained unchanged at 4.8 million boxes.
To read the entire forecast, visit http://usda.mannlip.cornell.edu/usda/current.
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