The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its final citrus forecast for the 2021-2022 which shows the production of Florida oranges continues to decline.
“The United States all orange forecast for the 2021-2022 season is 3.90 million tons, up 1 percent from the previous forecast but down 11 percent from the 2020-2021 final utilization. The Florida all-orange forecast, at 40.7 million boxes (1.83 million tons), is up 1 percent from the previous forecast but down 23 percent from last season’s final utilization. In Florida, early, midseason, and Navel varieties are forecast at 18.2 million boxes (819,000 tons), unchanged from the previous forecast but down 20 percent from last season’s final utilization. The Florida Valencia orange forecast, at 22.5 million boxes (1.01 million tons), is up 2 percent from the previous forecast but down 26 percent from last season’s final utilization. California and Texas orange production forecasts were carried forward from the previous forecast,” NASS noted.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried weighed in on the report.
“Even though production is down from the prior season, this forecast is an encouraging sign for Florida citrus growers as we mark two consecutive months where the orange production forecast has increased slightly,” Fried said. “Our producers have faced many challenges over the past decade, including the continued impact of citrus greening and severe weather events – from Hurricane Irma to recent freezes. However, Florida orange juice and our fresh citrus continue to be in demand by consumers. Growers, packers, and processors are committed to saving this industry through innovation, dedication, and tenacity. My department and I share this commitment to our state’s iconic citrus industry, and we will keep fighting for resources and funding while taking every opportunity to aid our growers with science, collaboration, hard work, and determination. Consumers can also do their part to help support our growers by choosing Fresh From Florida citrus and OJ when grocery shopping. Together, we will keep Florida’s signature crop growing for generations to come!”
Citrus greening has been the chief cause of the decline in Florida orange production in recent years.
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