A forecast of Florida’s orange production during the current growing season held steady in a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Florida growers are forecast to produce enough oranges to fill 51.7 million 90-pound boxes, the industry standard measurement.
That amount was unchanged from an April forecast. Nevertheless, the forecast amount would be 23.3 percent lower than the yield from the 2019-2020 season and 28 percent below the 2018-2019 season.
Wednesday’s forecast marked the second consecutive month Florida’s orange production was estimated below the output expected from California, which is on pace to grow enough for 52 million boxes.
Florida orange growers have struggled against residential and commercial development, foreign imports, hurricane impacts and citrus greening disease.
The Department of Agriculture also estimated Florida growers would produce enough grapefruit for 4.2 million boxes, down 100,000 boxes from the April forecast, and 900,000 boxes of specialty crops, primarily tangerines and tangelos, down 50,000 from April.
In the 2019-2020 growing season, Florida produced 4.85 million boxes of grapefruit and 1.02 million boxes of specialty crops.