Florida orange crop down 8% from November, 33% from 2016-17

by Ron Sterk
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Orange grove
The U.S.D.A. forecast the 2017-18 Florida orange crop at 2,070,000 tons.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Dec. 12 forecast the 2017-18 Florida orange crop at 2,070,000 tons (46 million 90-lb boxes), down 8% from its November forecast, down 33% from 3,094,000 tons in 2016-17 and the lowest since 1945-46.

The Florida orange crop has declined every year since 2011-12 and was forecast down 81% from peak production of 10,980,000 tons (244 million boxes) in 1997-98. Citrus groves were devastated by citrus greening disease in recent years, with large losses this year resulting from Hurricane Irma.

The total U.S. orange crop in 2017-18 was forecast at 3,980,000 tons, down 4% from the November forecast and down 23% from 5,164,000 tons in 2016-17.

The Florida crop is mainly processed for juice.
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