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BARTOW – The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected a slight decrease for Florida Orange and Grapefruit production, in an announcement Thursday.

The USDA predicted Florida Orange production at 70 million boxes, a 1 million box decrease over March’s forecast. Florida Grapefruit production decreased from 5.4 to 5.2 million boxes for the 2019-20 season.

“Any decline in production for the Florida Citrus industry is unfortunate, even when incremental,” said Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus. “However, we are heartened by the fact that today’s forecast does not resemble the steep declines experienced in the early days of citrus greening in Florida. Growers continue to work incredibly hard to provide Florida Orange Juice and fresh Florida Citrus to families around the world.“

About the Florida Department of Citrus

The Florida Department of Citrus is an executive agency of Florida government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the Florida citrus industry. Its activities are funded by a tax paid by growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels. The industry employs 50,000 people, provides an annual economic impact of $7.2 billion to the state, and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues that help support Florida’s schools, roads and health care services. For more information about the Florida Department of Citrus, please visit FloridaCitrus.org.