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Costa Rican orange production to decline

Due to abnormal weather during the growing season, estimates for the 2013-2014 orange season put production at a lower level than in previous years. But better yields are likely to make for better returns in the future.

Rains in April caused early flowering on trees this year, and while that in itself wasn't harmful, subsequent dry weather didn't provide the water the newly formed buds needed. The result was a compromised growing period and a lower production forecast for the upcoming orange season. According to a report from the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, 2013-2014 Costa Rican orange production will likely reach 7.7 million boxes, which is lower than the previous season's production by 300,000 boxes.

But as growers employ new planting techniques to fit more trees in the same amount of area, yields per hectare will likely increase. While area planted has declined in the last few years to 21,000 hectares, the amount of trees on that area has increased. For that reason, barring more abnormal weather, next season's production could reach 8.3 million boxes.

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