Florida grapefruit

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has lowered its estimate for Florida orange production in its February forecast while holding Florida grapefruit and specialty fruit steady.

Released Wednesday (10 February), the report projected 43.5m boxes of Florida oranges, a 1m box departure from January’s forecast.

Florida grapefruit production is projected at 4.1m boxes while Florida specialty citrus is expected to remain at 800,000 boxes.

“The grit and determination of Florida citrus growers does not waver,' said Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus. 'They remain committed, in the face of known and unknown challenges, to providing high-quality and great-tasting Florida citrus and Florida orange juice to all who seek it out.

'As consumers continue to turn to Florida orange juice for its health benefits at a higher rate than in many previous years, growers are reinvesting and replanting to ensure this iconic beverage can be enjoyed for generations to come,' Shepp added.