October 3, 2023

A Florida TaxWatch economic report

Florida's fresh fruit & vegetable production

| 6/30/2014

Improving Florida’s Balance of Trade

In 2012, Florida had more than $4 billion in international agricultural exports, making it the 7th largest state exporter of agricultural products abroad. The main importers of Florida agricultural products include Canada (with more than $960 million), the Netherlands, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, and Panama. Of those exports of Florida products, Florida fruits, vegetables and juices make up more than $500 million, making this category second to fresh and frozen meat.4

Florida Leading Cash Receipts

Crop Percentage Nationally National Ranking
Oranges 69.9% 1
Grapefruit 66.2% 1
Bell Peppers 36.2% 2
Squash 33.5% 1
Snap Beans 28.7% 1
Tomatoes 25.3% 2
Tangerines 24.9% 2
Cucumbers 24.7% 1
Sweet Corn 23.3% 1
Watermelons 20.6% 1
Cabbage 17.6% 2
Strawberries 15.3% 2
Peanuts 12.8% 2
Source: 2013 Florida Agriculture by the Numbers. 2011 Data
[Photo: James W. Olmstead, UF/IFAS]

Florida crops lead the way nationally

Florida is either the leading or the second-highest state in percent of U.S. receipts (see table) for many fruits and vegetables, yet Florida agriculture and its farming regions also benefit from crops which do not rank in the top two nationally, but are expanding in acreage and production. One example is blueberries, a Florida industry made possible by agricultural research at the University of Florida. Ralph Sharpe is credited with starting the blueberry breeding program there in the 1950s, and now-retired Professor Paul Lyrene is credited with developing the varietals that now make Florida an important producer in the industry, holding patents on more than 30 varietals that are bred specifically for Florida.

4   Florida Agricultural Overview and Statistics. USDA. National Agricultural Statistics Service.
5   Scientist Paul Lyrene Credited as Father of Important Blueberry Industry. Lakeland Ledger. May 27, 2013.

» NEXT PAGE: Florida produce benefits other Florida Industries

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