USDA released its monthly citrus report, and the trend shows a continued spiral down for Florida orange production.
Florida’s orange production is now pegged at 45 million boxes for the 2017-2018 season, about 50,000 boxes lower than the April estimate and 9 million boxes less than what was predicted at the start of the season, according to the May 10 report.
The recent numbers illustrate a decline of more than 80 percent since the peak of citrus production at 244 million boxes during the 1997-98 season.
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam released the following statement after the report:
“Today’s citrus crop forecast is another reminder of the continued struggles of Florida’s iconic citrus industry since Hurricane Irma inflicted unprecedented damage last year. But thanks to the collaborative efforts of the United States Department of Agriculture, Florida’s agriculture industry and our elected leaders, a much-needed disaster relief package is on the way to help growers get back on their feet,” he said.