Florida Citrus production down in latest USDA forecast

BARTOW – The April citrus forecast presented by the United States Department of Agriculture projected a month over month decrease in the production of Florida Oranges and Grapefruit for the 2020-21 season.

Released Friday, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service report predicted a 7 percent decrease for Florida Orange production, from 55.5 million boxes to 51.7 million boxes. Florida Grapefruit production also decreased 7 percent from 4.6 million boxes to 4.3 million boxes. Production of specialty citrus was reduced 100,000 boxes to 950,000 boxes total.

“The Florida Citrus industry remains a vital part of our state’s economy,” said Shannon Shepp, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Citrus. “While we expect production to vary from season to season, today’s forecast provides an important reminder that we cannot take this industry for granted. Growers need our support so that they may continue to produce great-tasting Florida Citrus and support the small communities where citrus is grown. Citrus will always have a place in Florida, but we must work together to overcome the challenges growers are currently facing.”

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 more than 37,000 people, provides an annual economic impact of $6.5 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.