The final 2020-2021 orange crop for the São Paulo and West-Southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt, published on April 12, 2021 by Fundecitrus – performed in cooperation with Markestrat, FEA-RP/USP and FCAV/Unesp2 – was 268.63 million boxes of 40.8 kg each (90 lb), which represents a decrease of 6.65% in relation to the first crop forecast published in May 2020, accounting for a reduction of 19.13 million boxes.
This crop had a decrease of 118.16 million boxes in comparison to the previous season, which is equivalent to a volume 30.55% smaller than that of the 2019-2020 cycle, confirming a record crop loss for all the years in which the crop suffered the physiological effects of the negative biennial production cycle of orange trees since the beginning of the historical series in 1988. Total orange production included:
• 47 mln boxes of the Hamlin, Westin and Rubi early-season varieties;
• 13.85 million boxes of the Valencia Americana, Seleta and Pineapple early-season varieties;
• 81.45 million boxes of the Pera Rio mid-season variety;
• 91.95 million boxes of the Valencia and Valencia Folha Murcha late-season varieties;
• 34.38 million boxes of the Natal late-season variety.
Approximately 19.33 million boxes were produced in West Minas Gerais.
One of the reasons that explains this substantial crop loss is the fact that orange trees started flowering in the spring of 2019, when reserves were lower because they had been used in the previous crop season when there was a significant yield increase. Decreased reserves led to a significant reduction in the number of fruits per tree in this season, a phenomenon known as alternate bearing. The other reason is the strong negative influence of the climate throughout the season.