Generic orange tree

In the first forecast of the 2021/22 citrus season, the US Department of Agriculture projected production at 47m boxes of Florida oranges and 3.8m boxes of grapefruit.

Released Tuesday (12 October), the forecast is a decrease on the previous season.

However, production of specialty citrus is expected to be up slightly this season with 900,000 boxes forecasted.

'We hoped for more, but 47m boxes of oranges demonstrates the resilience, ingenuity, and strength of Florida's citrus growers and their unwavering commitment to fighting the challenges facing our industry,' said Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus.

'Demand for Florida orange juice remains strong, with consumers continuing to turn to 100 per cent orange juice for its many health and wellness benefits,' Shepp continued. 'Further, growers and researchers continue to develop new tools in the fight against HLB.'