USDA decreases Florida orange estimate again

07/11/2013 01:29:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

USDA logoThe U.S. Department of Agriculture has once again downgraded the size of Florida's orange crop, this time by 9 percent.

In its monthly estimate issued July 11, the USDA pegged the 2012-13 Florida orange crop at 133.4 million 90-pound boxes.

Broken down, it reduced the valencia crop by 700,000 boxes to 66.3 million. The early-mid varieties increased 100,000 boxes to 67.1 million.

"This year's crop really shows the devastating effects of HLB (huanglongbing), or citrus greening disease," Mike Sparks, executive vice president of Lakeland, Fla.-based Florida Citrus Mutual, said in a news release. "We had severe fruit drop and a lot of citrus from stressed trees with HLB ended up on the ground."

The USDA issues its initial forecast of the season in October and then revises it monthly through July.

The original Florida orange estimate was 154 million boxes.

That compares with the 2011-12 season that ended with 146.7 million boxes of oranges.

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