The industry looks ahead to the remainder of the Florida citrus harvest.
This past March 9th marked the latest USDA citrus forecast, and it wasn’t anything to cheer about. The total Florida citrus harvest for the 2016-17 season was lowered to 67 million boxes of citrus. It was a drop of 4 percent over last month’s 70 million boxes, and a drop of 18 percent over the 81.5 million boxes harvested at the end of last year’s Florida citrus harvest. However, all is not lost. See how the industry is looking ahead to the rest of the Florida citrus harvest.
Comments on the Forecast
Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam commented on the 4 percent drop, pointing out that it’s another indication of how much citrus greening has harmed the Florida citrus industry. He also maintained that, until a cure or viable treatment is found, the Florida citrus industry and the 60,000 people it employs must be supported.
Executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus, Shannon Shepp, gave the lower forecast a bit of a silver lining in a Citrus Industry Magazine article. Shepp pointed out that about 60 percent of the forecast’s reductions came from early and mid-season citrus varieties that have already been picked. “While news of a decrease is never welcome, the sweet scent of citrus blossoms floating on the breeze brings back fond memories and reminds us that spring is a time of renewal,” Shepp was quoted in the article as saying.
The Rest of the Florida Citrus Harvest
The Florida citrus industry is hopeful that the second half of the season will bring better news. Shepp added that, ““Growers are optimistic that the strategies they are implementing now will pay off in the future and that, as an industry, we will overcome.”
According to the article, Ag Commissioner Putnam is also asking state lawmakers to earmark money in next year’s budget for fighting citrus greening to help find that cure or treatment.
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.