Lower Florida orange and grapefruit are expected this season compared to a year ago.
The USDA’s prediction of 57 million boxes of Florida oranges and 4.5 million boxes of Florida grapefruit means a 15 percent decrease in Florida orange production and 7 percent decrease in Florida grapefruit shipments compared to the 2019-20 season,
However, specialty citrus volumes is expected to be up slightly this season over last with 1.1 million boxes forecasted.
Much of the production drop is expect to be from for juice, rather than the fresh market, according to Florida growers.
DLF International of Fort Pierce, FL, expects to ship 1.6 million cartons of citrus for the fresh market, which is about 15 percent more than the previous season.
DLF produces about 90 percent oranges, but is looking to increase its grapefruit program, to possibly 30 percent of its product line.
Shipping got underway September 20 and is expected to finish in July, although grapefruit should wrap up in April because it doesn’t use cold storage.
Valencias do well in cold storage for part of June and July with barely 1 percent discards once pulled out and resorted
Duda Farm Fresh Fresh Foods of Oveido, FL., reports company’s navel crop is expected to show larger sizes and bigger volume than last season.
The company’s grapefruit crop should be very similar to last year, with the potential for greater packouts and potentially slightly more volume.
The firm’s juice orange crop is expected to be very similar to last season, with potentially lighter overall volume. One bright spot is specialty citrus.
The company began shipping grapefruit, specialties and oranges The third week of October, and navels began Nov. 2.
Grapefruit shipments will peak in January and February and continue through March. Specialties began their peak before Thanksgiving and will continue with peak volume through Christmas.
Florida Classic Growers of Dundee, FL., started packing its first Florida citrus in October with Florida hamlin juice oranges, fallglo and early pride tangerines, as well as navel oranges.
By mid-November, tango tangerines were in full force.
New in 2020 is a partnership with Riverfront Packing Co., the Packers of Indian River and Quality Fruit Packers Inc. Good volumes of grapefruit are expected through mid-March.
After the first of the year, Florida Classic will transition from early season orange varieties to its valencia orange crop, which should be in good supply and available to the end of May.
The honey tangerine crop will start then too, running through early March.
Seald Sweet LL of Vero Beach, FL., expects similar volume of Florida volume compared with last season. The company began packing in late October and was in peak volume by mid-November.