USDA Predicts Smallest Orange Crop in 50 Years
USAgNet - 10/13/2015
Florida's Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam wants another $8.5 million next year to help fight a deadly citrus disease, as the state's orange crop was forecast Friday to hit a 52-year low in the upcoming season.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service predicted that Florida's signature crop will fill the equivalent of 80 million 90-pound boxes, a 17 percent drop from 96.8 million boxes collected during the 2014-2015 growing season.
Production has declined from a peak of 244 million boxes during the 1997-1998 season.
The money requested next year for citrus-disease research is part of $18.7 million Putnam wants from lawmakers for the citrus industry, which has a projected $10.7 billion impact on the state economy.
The estimate of the 2015-2016 Florida grapefruit crop is 12.3 million boxes. Specialty fruit checked in at 2.2 million boxes. The yield for frozen concentrate orange juice is 1.61 gallons per 90-pound box.