Growers end Florida citrus season shipping fewer cartons

07/12/2013 01:00:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Florida citrus growers ended the season producing fewer oranges and grapefruit and sustained a big loss on tangerines.

In its July 11 final season report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported all orange production declining 9% from the previous season, and tangerines saw a 22% drop.

This season, total orange production fell from 146.7 million equivalent cartons to 133.4 million cartons, with the late season valencias also seeing a 9% drop from last season’s 72.5 million cartons to 68.3 million cartons this year.

Grapefruit production fell 2.2% from the previous year, from 18.8 million equivalent cartons to 18.4 million cartons.

Losses in early fall and honey tangerines dropped tangerine production from 4.3 million equivalent cartons to 3.3 million cartons, according to the USDA.

Compared to the previous month’s report, valencias fell 700,000 boxes while grapefruit and tangerine production remain unchanged, the USDA reported.

Though 96% of Florida’s oranges are grown for processing, about 60% of its navels, 70% of its tangerines and 40% of its colored grapefruit ship to fresh channels.

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