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USDA Predicts Decrease to 2012-2013 Citrus Crop

Contact: Andrew Meadows at (863) 682-1111 or (cell) (863) 944-4924
For Immediate Release:

LAKELAND, Fla. (January 11, 2013) –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Friday said its estimate of the 2012-2013 Florida citrus crop has decreased almost 3 percent to 142 million boxes.

The majority of the decrease occurred in Valencias which declined 3 million boxes to 76 million from the USDA’s initial December estimate. Early-mids decreased 1 million boxes to 66 million boxes.

The USDA makes its first estimate in October of each year and revises it monthly as the crop takes shape until the end of the season in July.

“Several variables such as rainfall, disease pressure, fruit size and significant fruit drop has made it a very tricky year for crop forecasting,” said Michael W. Sparks, executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “Fruit drop in Early-mids and small sizes in Valencias are most likely the cause of this decrease.”

“We do know that Florida growers are continuing to produce the best quality citrus in the world.”

Visit www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Florida/Publications/Citrus/cpfp.htm for the complete USDA estimate. During the 2011-2012 season, Florida produced 146.6 million boxes of oranges.

For Florida specialty fruit and grapefruit all numbers remained the same. The USDA predicts 1.1 million boxes of tangelos and 3.8 million boxes of tangerines.

The USDA says Florida will harvest 18 million boxes of grapefruit.

The yield for from concentrate orange juice (FCOJ) remained at 1.61 gallons per 90-pound box.

The Florida citrus industry creates a $9 billion annual economic impact, employing nearly 76,000 people, and covering about 550,000 acres. Founded in 1948 and currently representing nearly 8,000 grower members, Florida Citrus Mutual is the state’s largest citrus grower organization. For more information, visit www.flcitrusmutual.com. To receive winter weather updates follow FCM on Twitter.