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The USDA forecasts 71 million boxes of Florida Oranges, 9 million boxes Florida Grapefruit

BARTOW, Fla. – In its first forecast of 2017, the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected a slight decrease in the Florida Orange crop to 71 million boxes for the 2016-17 season.

The report also projects a slight decrease in the state’s grapefruit production to 9 million boxes. Despite the decrease in Florida Oranges, today’s crop size projection remains above the 70 million boxes the USDA initially estimated in October.

According to Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus: “These are the slight fluctuations this industry is accustomed to historically in a season. We see this as a positive sign that we are gaining ground on HLB and getting closer to a stabilized industry. We continue to see growers invest in the future of Florida Citrus by putting new trees in the ground.”

The FDOC, which is partially funded by box taxes paid by the state’s citrus growers, serves as the chief marketing and promotion arm for the industry.

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 nearly 62,000 people, provides an annual economic impact of nearly $10.7 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.