Ag Deptartment Predicts Increased Orange Crop
Lakeland Ledger – December 9, 2011
The U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its orange crop forecast for the 2011-2012 season 2 percent this week. The USDA’s initial October estimate was 147 million boxes, but the new estimate pegs the orange crop at 150 million boxes. The revised estimate comes from an expected increase in Valencia orange crops. Tangelo, tangerine and grapefruit estimates have been lowered since October. “Grower returns are firming up and at the current levels, they are helping offset the high production costs we are experiencing due to pest and disease,” said Michael W. Sparks, CEO of the Lakeland-based Florida Citrus Mutual.