In its January forecast, the USDA reduced its estimate for Florida Orange production while holding Florida Grapefruit production steady for the 2021-22 season.
Released Wednesday, the forecast projected 44.5 million boxes of Florida Oranges, a 1.5 million box reduction from December. However, projections for boxes of Florida Grapefruit remained the same at 4.1 million. Estimates for Florida specialty citrus are also down 100,000 boxes bringing the forecast to 800,000 boxes for the season.
“The disappointment of another decline in the forecast is hard to overstate. But so too is the determination of Florida’s Citrus growers who remain focused on delivering great-tasting and high-quality fruit while – simultaneously – seeking new solutions to citrus greening,” said Shelley Rossetter, assistant director of global marketing at the Florida Department of Citrus.
“We are encouraged by the demand shown for Florida Citrus at retail as Americans continue to seek out Florida Orange Juice for its health benefits and immune support at a rate that outpaces most previous years. The Department of Citrus is unwavering in its dedication to supporting grower efforts through robust marketing programs that keep Florida Citrus top of mind and drive sales.”