THIS YEAR’S CITRUS HARVEST wasn’t exactly one for the record books, but overall, it was respectable. Coming in at 67.65 million boxes of Florida oranges produced and marketed, growers were satisfied with their haul. There were some issues early in the season, such as an unexpected fruit drop among Valencia oranges, but the coronavirus pandemic affected the citrus market in a fortuitous way. The demand for orange juice skyrocketed amid pandemic fears. Long esteemed for its positive impact on the immune system due to its high Vitamin C content, O.J. became a star player late in the citrus season.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture releases its first forecast October 9, after the press deadline for this edition of Central Florida Ag News, but local experts are already making their predictions.
Elizabeth Steger, president of Citrus Consulting International of Daytona Beach and renowned citrus forecaster whose predictions for each citrus season are followed by growers throughout the state, has taken a dim look at the upcoming season.
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