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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.– Following the announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on its 2015 citrus forecast for Florida, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam released this statement:

“The forecast for this season’s citrus, if realized, represents a welcome increase in production despite the devastating effects of citrus greening on Florida’s signature crop. This bacterial disease, first detected in 2008, has resulted in record fruit drop and decline in the health of the trees. This is an all-hands-on-deck effort to defeat this scourge and save Florida’s $9 billion citrus industry and the 76,000 jobs it supports.”

The U.S.D.A forecast for next year estimated 108 million boxes of oranges, up slightly from the 104 million boxes produced in 2014. This represents a decline of 59 percent since the peak of citrus production at 254 million boxes in 1997-98.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.