LAKELAND — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday (April 10) reduced its orange crop forecast for the 2011-12 season by 2 million boxes, estimating now that Florida will produce 145 million boxes.
The decrease in the April forecast for oranges was seen entirely in Valencias, with the estimate dropping from 73 million to 71 million boxes. Early and mid-season orange varieties remained at 74 million boxes.
For Florida specialty fruit, the USDA predicts 1.15 million boxes of tangelos and 4.3 million boxes of tangerines. Those numbers are unchanged from March.
The yield for from concentrate orange juice (FCOJ) decreased to 1.62 gallons per 90-pound box from the previous estimate of 1.64 gallons per box.
The USDA predicts Florida will harvest 18.8 million boxes of grapefruit this season, showing a minor increase from the March forecast of 18.7 million.
The USDA makes its initial forecast in October and then revises it monthly until the end of the season in July. During the 2010-11 season, Florida produced 139 million boxes of oranges.
Visit www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Florida/Publications/Citrus/cpfp.htm for the complete USDA estimate.