This week, USDA lowered Florida’s early-midseason orange production by 1.0 million 90-lb boxes, to 30.0 million. Valencia orange production was left at 41.0 million boxes.
March’s early-mid forecast is down 2.0 million boxes from the initial projection in October. Since then, drop rate crept higher and fruit sized a bit smaller than anticipated at the start of the season. With forecast components for early-mids left at January’s final values—28 percent drop rate and 316 fruit per box—the decline in production points to lower yield per tree.
Florida’s Valencia harvest is progressing seasonally, with 1.35 million boxes harvested during the week ending Mar. 1. Last week and this week should see box counts between 2.5 and 3-plus million per week, as harvest ramps up quickly.