WAITING OUT THE STORM
Central Florida Ag News|January 2021
USDA Revises Citrus Forecast, but Growers Taking It In Stride
TERESA SCHIFFER
WAITING OUT THE STORM

IN DECEMBER, the USDA revised its citrus season forecast for Florida, and the news wasn’t good. The projected production dropped about 2 percent from October’s initial forecast, which translates to one million fewer boxes of Hamlin and Navel oranges from the Sunshine State. That puts the total number of expected boxes of oranges at 56 million boxes, a significant drop from the 68 million boxes produced last season.

So how is this news affecting growers? Those who have been in the industry for a while aren’t pleased, but they aren’t too worried, either. They know that citrus, like any other crop, goes through its highs and lows, and while this may be a low period for the growers, many are willing to hang in there and see it through with an optimistic faith that the state’s iconic oranges will rebound in due time.

The main culprit behind the decline in expected production is an unexpected fruit drop that occurred early in the season. Although the exact cause of the drop is unknown, some growers suspect that unseasonably warm weather induced the loss since the entire state was affected to some degree.

“We had a higher drop rate than we’ve had in a couple of years, and it was industry-wide,” says Vic Story of the Story Companies. “I think it was related to the warm weather in the fall. We’ve had some cool weather, but it would have been welcome sooner. I think the trees were a little confused about the weather, and the greening has continued to play havoc on the trees.”

This story is from the January 2021 edition of Central Florida Ag News.

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This story is from the January 2021 edition of Central Florida Ag News.

Subscribe to Magzter GOLD to access thousands of curated premium stories, and 8,000+ magazines and newspapers.

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