Florida orange production forecast down 24 percent

The USDA has released its November Citrus Forecast for Florida. Production is forecast to be down across the board. The 2015-2016 Florida all orange forecast is 74 million boxes, down 6 million boxes from the initial October forecast. This would mean a 24 percent production decrease compared to last season and the lowest since the 1963-1964 season. 

Both Valencia and non-Valencia oranges are forecast to have production levels of 37 million boxes. For non-Valencia oranges this would mean a 22 percent production decrease compared to last season and for Valencias, production is forecast to be down 25 percent compared to last year. 

For non-Valencias the current size is below the average and projected to be near the minimum at harvest. Current fruit size for Valencias is slightly below average as well and will be near the minimum recorded last season. Valencia droppage is above the maximum and projected to be the highest on record since 1960-1961. The graph below shows the downward trend of Florida orange production in recent years.

Grapefruit production forecast is lowered by 100,000 boxes from the October forecast to 12.2 million boxes. This is a decrease of 700,000 boxes or 5.4 percent compared to last season. Droppage for both white and red grapefruit is above the maximum. Fruit size is below average.

All tangerines
Although the forecast of all tangerine production is unchanged at 1.75 million boxes from the October forecast, it would still mean a 23 percent decrease compared to last season. Harvest of the Fallglo tangerines (300,000 boxes) is wrapping up while the Sunburst tangerine (700,000 boxes) harvest is underway. The forecast of the later maturing Honey variety is at 750,000 boxes.

The forecast tangelo production is 41 percent lower than last season. If realized, this year’s production of 400,000 boxes will be the lowest since 1958-1959’s production of 300,000 boxes. Tangelo projected fruit size is below average requiring 292 pieces of fruit to fill a 90-pound box. Droppage is projected to be above the maximum at 20 percent.

This table shows the forecast production numbers per citrus variety:

Citrus variety
2015-2016 forecast
(1,000 boxes)
Non-Valencia orange37,000
Valencia orange37,000
All oranges74,000

The full Florida Citrus Forecast report can be downloaded here.

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