The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has projected a slight decrease for Florida orange and grapefruit production.
The USDA predicted the state's orange production at 70m boxes, a 1m box drop on March’s forecast, while grapefruit production fell from 5.4m to 5.2m boxes for the 2019/20 season.
“Any decline in production for the Florida citrus industry is unfortunate, even when incremental,” said Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus. “However, we are heartened by the fact that today’s forecast does not resemble the steep declines experienced in the early days of citrus greening in Florida.
'Growers continue to work incredibly hard to provide Florida orange juice and fresh Florida citrus to families around the world,' she added.
The Florida citrus industry employs 50,000 people, provides an annual economic impact of US$7.2bn to the state, and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues that help support Florida’s schools, roads and health care services.