LAKELAND — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has increased its orange crop forecast for the 2011-12 season by 200,000 boxes, estimating that Florida now will produce 145.2 million boxes.
The new forecast for May, released Tuesday, was a result of an adjustment for utilization in early and mid-season varieties from 74 million boxes to 74.2 million. Of the 200,000 boxes, navels accounted for 50,000 boxes. Valencias remained at 71 million boxes.
For Florida specialty fruit, the USDA predicts that 1.15 million boxes of tangelos and 4.3 million boxes of tangerines. Those numbers are unchanged from April.
The yield for from concentrate orange juice (FCOJ) decreased to 1.61 gallons per 90-pound box from the previous estimate of 1.62 gallons per box.
The USDA predicts Florida will harvest 18.8 million boxes of grapefruit in this season, showing no change from April’s estimate.
Visit www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Florida/Publications/Citrus/cpfp.htm for the complete USDA estimate. The USDA makes its initial citrus forecast in October and then revises it monthly until the end of the season in July. During the 2010-11 citrus-harvesting season, Florida produced 139 million boxes of oranges.