Florida orange crop estimate lowered by 3m boxes due to citrus greening

Florida’s orange crop continues to be decimated by greening disease and, on Thursday, federal forecasters dropped the orange production estimate for the 2017-18 season by 3 million boxes from last month’s estimate.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that Florida growers will produce 67 million 90-pound boxes of oranges, down 17 percent from the 81.5 million boxes harvested last season. In the 2014-15 season, Florida’s commercial growers produced 96.9 million boxes of oranges.

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said in a statement, “Although not unexpected, today’s historically low forecast is the latest example of citrus greening’s continued devastation of Florida’s citrus industry. Until a long-term solution is discovered, which some of our state’s brightest minds are working on, we must support Florida’s multi-billion dollar citrus industry and the more than 60,000 jobs it supports.”

Thursday’s forecast represents a decline of more than 70 percent since the peak of citrus production at 244 million boxes during the 1997-98 season.

source: protectingyourpocket.blog.mypalmbeachpost.com

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