Harsh Reality, Optimistic Expectations in the Sunshine State
A report just out from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reports that it’s the world of citrus that’s seeing some optimism.
From the report, the United States all orange forecast for the 2023-2024 season is 2.74 million tons, up 10 percent from the 2022-2023 final utilization. The Florida all orange forecast, at 20.5 million boxes (923,000 tons), is up 30 percent from last season’s final utilization. In Florida, early, midseason, and Navel varieties are forecast at 7.50 million boxes (338,000 tons), up 22 percent from last season’s final utilization. The Florida Valencia orange forecast, at 13.0 million boxes (585,000 tons), is up 35 percent from last season’s final utilization.
Optimism, of course, is relative as citrus greening and inclement weather continue to take a toll on orange production in the Sunshine State. FloridaPhoenix.com reports that the state remains in a decades-long slide from peak production. While an increase from last year, they report the current projection is a harvest of fewer oranges than were cultivated in the 1937-38 crop year.