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Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Reality check for Florida citrus

Latest forecast shows that industry recovery is "not there yet"

Reality check for Florida citrus

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Florida Orange and Grapefruit production both decreased by 500,000 boxes in the April US Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop forecast.

Released Tuesday (9 April), the report projects Florida Orange production for the 2018/19 season at 76.5m boxes after a slight decline in non-Valencia orange production.  

Florida Grapefruit production, meanwhile, is now estimated at 4.9m boxes, the USDA said.

“We’re an industry catching glimpses of recovery, but this estimate certainly points out that we are not there yet,” said Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus. “It’s still a great year, but we are anxious for better.”

The numbers remain an increase from the previous season, devastated by Hurricane Irma, when production dropped to 45.05m boxes of Florida oranges and 3.88m boxes of Florida grapefruit.

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