Latest Shipping Estimate for Florida Citrus Remains Unchanged; Vidalia Onions

Latest Shipping Estimate for Florida Citrus Remains Unchanged; Vidalia Onions

DSCN0412The USDA  sees in it latest estimate Florida citrus remaining on schedule to ship 46 million boxes this season….Meanwhile Vidalia onions are in the ground for the season starting in April.

That estimate is a 33 percent plunge from the 2016-17 shipping season, but is unchanged from the December estimate, a first for this season.

The Florida citrus industry took a hammering from Hurricane Irma, which stripped fruit from trees and also stressed many to the point that growers expected increased fruit drop would happen throughout the season. Some trees were uprooted entirely, and others were damaged by standing water in the days after the storm.

The USDA estimate calls for 19 million boxes of early, midseason and navel varieties (down 42 percent from 2016-17) and 27 million boxes of valencias (down 24 percent).

Florida continues to face its lowest citrus forecast in more than 75 years.

Florida’s famous citrus industry and its growers continue to struggle with the unprecedented damage caused by Hurricane Irma and this damage, combined with the cumulative impacts of citrus greening, leaves Florida’s growers in desperate need of government support.  Industry officials continue to work with Florida Governor Rick Scott and leaders in Washington to get Florida’s growers the relief they need to rebuild and replant.

The USDA estimate for California citrus was also unchanged from December, with the state projected to ship 35 million boxes of navel oranges and 11 million boxes of valencias.  Texas is expected to ship 1.83 million boxes of oranges, up 11 percent from last month’s forecast and up 34 percent from the 2016-17 season.

Florida citrus – grossing about $3200 to New York City.

Vidalia Onions

The Vidalia onion district in Southeastern Georgia accounts for about 22 percent of the total sweet onion shipments in the United States.  The product is in the ground and should be available for loading in April.  Georgia cold and even freezing weather can be okay with planted onions in the ground, as long is the temperature doesn’t plunge to low for too many hours.  There will be more information in the coming weeks.