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Florida growers react disparately to crop forecast

The initial Florida orange crop forecast for the 2021-22 season was well below last season’s 52.8 million boxes of Florida orange production. It was issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service on October 12.

Florida citrus grower Kyle Story of The Story Companies: “We’re still quite a ways away from the juice harvest beginning. We’ll see what the weather does between now and then. The fruit still has a chance to size, which can help the crop number to come up. But I think it’s a very realistic number based on what I see within the industry.”

However, reports that the 47-million-box forecast struck fellow grower Paul Meador as low. Meador is president of Everglades Harvesting and Hauling and serves on the Florida Citrus Commission: “I think the number was lower than I was expecting, but I think it was lower than the whole industry was expecting. We keep waiting for that changing moment when the crop begins to increase steadily. Some of us thought maybe that would be this year. So it was disappointing, but things could be worse, too.”


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