With Florida’s 2018/19 orange harvest nearly complete, USDA lowered Valencia production by 1.0 million 90-lb boxes from the May estimate. All other orange production numbers—Florida early/mids, California, and Texas—were left unchanged.
Florida’s orange production has closed the season down about 10 percent from USDA’s initial forecast back in October. Early/mid production was 3.6 million boxes lower than the October number, and Valencia production was down 4.0 million boxes. Last month, USDA reported that the discrepancy was due to fewer actual trees in production than the row count survey suggested and that yield estimates were accurate. If USDA can improve the precision of the row count survey, then hopefully next season’s production forecast will be closer to the mark. And even with today’s reduction, 2018/19 orange production is 4 percent higher than 2016/17.
Florida grapefruit production was lowered 70 million 85-lb boxes, to 4.51 million. Most of the decline was in red grapefruit production, which is now estimated at 3.74 million boxes. Grapefruit production has struggled to rebound from 2017 hurricane damage.
Florida orange production estimates compared
Source: USDA, industry sources
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