USDA revises Florida citrus harvest projections for improved crop
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orange tree
The increased Florida citrus harvest projection comes as Gov. Ron DeSantis approves more spending on agricultural research.

Florida citrus growers might be getting a bit more optimistic about their harvest this year, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revised upward its projections for fruit production this year.

The citrus crop forecast has been increased from the May figure to an expected harvest of 17.86 million boxes of oranges for the 2023-24 growing season. The USDA issued its revised projection this week and the orange forecast added an increase of 60,000 boxes of oranges over earlier projections in May.

The federal agency also projects there to be 1.79 million boxes of grapefruit harvested in Florida and another 450,000 boxes of tangelos and tangerines to be picked from Sunshine State groves.

“The June 2024 revised citrus crop estimate increased slightly over last month, giving growers renewed hope that our industry will overcome the ongoing challenges the Sunshine State’s citrus industry is encountering on its path to recovery,” said Matt Joyner, Executive Vice President and CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual.

“Florida citrus growers remain remarkably resilient, seeking innovative solutions to overcome drought across the citrus belt, recover from 2022 hurricanes Ian and Nicole, and combat citrus greening,” Joyner said in a prepared statement.

This week’s revised Florida citrus crop estimate by the USDA comes in the same week as Gov. Ron DeSantis approved $47 million in spending on the Focus on Florida’s Future budget, which includes financial support for Florida’s citrus industry.

That spending goes into effect July 1 and will include citrus industry support, such as research, field trials and pest management, among other initiatives. Most notably, $18 million of that funding will cover costs of citrus treatments and therapies, as well as additional funding for pest management through a program managed by the Florida Department Agriculture and Consumer Services.

“New treatments and therapies are improving the health of citrus trees impacted by citrus greening, and more time will yield optimal results. Florida Citrus Mutual is committed to working with growers, researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders to seek viable solutions to the most pressing needs facing our industry,” Joyner said.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected].

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    June 13, 2024 at 1:27 pm

    The crop might be good, but how’s the harvest going to turn out what with Rhonda and the FLgOP having run all the pickers out of the state?

Comments are closed.


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