Florida citrus shipments for the 2018-19 season is forecast at 86.9 million boxes, a 75 percent increase from last year’s Hurricane Irma damaged crop, according to the USDA.
Citrus shipments are still far below Florida’s peak volume of 244 million boxes during the 1997-98 season.
“This citrus production forecast offers a glimmer of hope to Florida’s iconic citrus industry,” said Adam Putnam, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, in a statement. “For more than a decade, we’ve battled citrus greening and the industry most recently was dealt a devastating blow last year from Hurricane Irma. This estimated increase in production is the much-anticipated good news that Florida’s growers have hoped for. Much work remains, but the citrus industry is strong and here to stay.”
Florida’s forecast for all oranges is set at 79 million boxes for 2018-19, up an impressive 76 percent from 44.95 million boxes in 2017-18, notes the USDA.
For grapefruit, the USDA forecast Florida shipments at 6.7 million boxes in 2018-19, up 72 percent from 3.88 million boxes from 2017-18. Florida red grapefruit shipments was 5.5 million boxes, up from 3.18 million boxes last season.
Florida tangerine/mandarin shipments for the 2018-19 season is 1.2 million boxes, up from 60 percent from last season.
California and Texas
California growers and shippers also are expecting to ship more volume.
The California navel orange shipments for 2018-19 is 49 million boxes is up 8 percent from last season’s final shipments. The California valencia orange forecast is 9 million boxes, down 5 percent from last season’s final utilization. The Texas all-orange shipping forecast is at 2.4 million boxes, is up 28 percent from last season’s final utilization, the USDA said.
The U.S. 2018-2019 grapefruit shipments are is forecast 33 percent higher than last season’s final utilization. In Texas, expected production of 6.2 million boxes is up 29 percent from a year ago.
The forecast for the 2018-2019 U.S. lemon crop is down 4 percent from last season’s final shipments. California volume forecast is at 20 million boxes is off 6 percent from the 2017-2018 season.
The USDA said the U.S. tangerine and mandarin crop is forecast up 22 percent from last season’s final loadings. California tangerine and mandarin forecast, at 23 million boxes, is up 20 percent from the previous year.