The 2021-2022 orange crop forecast for the São Paulo and West-Southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt, published on May 27, 2021 by Fundecitrus, in cooperation with Markestrat, FEA-RP/USP and
FCAV/Unesp, is 294.17 million boxes (40.8 kg or 90 lb). Total orange production includes:
- 51.37 million boxes of the Hamlin, Westin and Rubi varieties;
- 16.87 million boxes of the Valencia Americana, Seleta and Pineapple varieties;
- 84.66 million boxes of the Pera Rio variety;
- 34.20 million boxes of the Natal variety.
- 107.07 million boxes of the Valencia and Valencia Folha Murcha varieties;
Approximately 26.09 million boxes are expected to be produced in the Triângulo Mineiro. As compared to the final forecast of 268.63 million boxes in the previous crop, the current projection represents an increase of 9.51% although it is still below the average of 35 million boxes for the last ten crop seasons, which corresponds to a drop of 10.53%.
The citrus belt also faced opposite climate extremes in the beginning of this crop season: rains in the regions of Itapetininga, Avaré and Duartina in June and August 2020, which triggered the first bloom, while a long drought hit the remaining regions of the citrus belt and only ended in mid-October, when rains enabled good water conditions for plants in that part of the citrus belt to have a late first bloom at a period when a second bloom usually takes place.
Before rains fell, that is, from September 30 to October 7, 2020, a strong heat wave hit the whole citrus belt, with average maximum temperatures on the order of 42oC, affecting the setting of first bloom fruits in the regions of Itapetininga, Avaré and Duartina, and in irrigated groves. Those fruits were still small, having a diameter of 0.5 to 3.0 centimeters and intense physiological drop caused by high temperatures.