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Florida citrus production lowest in decades

The final forecast of the 2016-2017 season for Florida’s struggling citrus industry shows the orange crop falling 16 percent from the previous season — which, itself, had been at a five-decades low.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Wednesday, in the final forecast for the 2016-2017 season, that Florida growers have harvested enough oranges to fill 68.7 million 90-pound boxes.Growers produced 81.6 million boxes of oranges in the 2015-2016 season.

Not all news is bad however, as the USDA forecast shows Valencia oranges up 200,000 boxes from last month, and is now at 68.7 million boxes. The total comprises 33.0 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason, and Navel varieties), unchanged from last month, and 35.7 million boxes of Valencia oranges, up 200,000 boxes from last month.

The forecast of Florida grapefruit production is unchanged at 7.80 million boxes. These numbers show that production dropped 28 percent from the prior year. Of the total grapefruit forecast, 1.50 million boxes are white and 6.30 million boxes are the red varieties.

The Florida tangerine and tangelo forecast remains at 1.62 million boxes. The forecast includes 600,000 boxes of the early tangerines (Fallglo and Sunburst), 210,000 boxes of Royal tangerines, 530,000 thousand boxes of Honey tangerines, and 280,000 boxes of tangelos.

Read the full report here

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