February crop forecast keeps oranges steady at 69 million boxes

Florida Grapefruit dip slightly to 10.5 million boxes.

BARTOW, Fla. – The February forecast for this season’s Florida Citrus crop remained steady for Florida Oranges and dipped slightly for Florida Grapefruit, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The report estimates a 69 million box season for Florida Oranges, a number consistent with predictions over each of the last two months. The current forecast represents a 29 percent decrease since the last season.

Florida Grapefruit is estimated to decrease to 10.5 million boxes from January’s 10.8 million boxes.

“The consistency in today’s forecast is certainly an encouraging note for the industry and the consumers who count on us. Our growers across the state continue their heroic work to produce Florida’s signature crop, even as citrus greening continues to threaten our groves,” said Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus.

“As the growers and scientists work to address production issues, we remain focused on consumers. We are encouraged that sales of Not-From-Concentrate Orange Juice, which is the primary focus of the Florida Citrus industry, continue to lead the category. We will continue to highlight the nutritional benefits and great taste only Florida Orange Juice can provide.”

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.