Explore the details of the first citrus crop forecast and read the reactions of industry leaders.
The USDA recently released the first citrus crop forecast for the 2018-2019 season, and Florida growers and industry leaders alike were cautiously optimistic about what is being forecast for Florida’s next citrus harvest. Last year was a tough year for Florida citrus growers, with the combined punch of citrus greening and Hurricane Irma creating a low of only 49.58 million boxes harvested. For comparison’s sake, the highest ever harvest was 244 million boxes during the 1997-1998 season. See the forecast and reactions of industry leaders below.
Details of the Initial Citrus Crop Forecast
According to the USDA NASS release, the USDA forecast 79 million boxes of citrus for Florida for the 2017-2019, which is an increase of 76 percent over last season’s final production. Florida citrus growers and industry leaders are pleased with the initial forecast.
Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) Executive Director Shannon Shepp gave this statement, according to a CitrusIndustry.com article:
“I have been looking for positive news for quite some time in this industry and I think this is going to be a real morale booster for growers, and it’s also going to give consumers who have been looking for the world’s best orange juice a little more opportunity to find it,”
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam Putnam gave this positive statement in a FreshFromFlorida.com press release:
“This citrus production forecast offers a glimmer of hope to Florida’s iconic citrus industry. For more than a decade, we’ve battled citrus greening and the industry most recently was dealt a devastating blow last year from Hurricane Irma. This estimated increase in production is the much-anticipated good news that Florida’s growers have hoped for. Much work remains, but the citrus industry is strong and here to stay.”
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