2011-12 Florida Citrus Crop Expected to Increase
Contact: Andrew Meadows at (863) 682-1111 or (cell) (863) 944-4924
For Immediate Release:
LAKELAND, Fla. (October 12, 2011) –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)released its initial citrus crop forecast for the 2011-2012 season Wednesday, estimating Florida will produce 147 million boxes of oranges, a five percent increase from last season.
“This number is not a surprise. We’ve had good rain over the summer and a large bloom in the spring so this is pretty close to what we expected,” said Michael W. Sparks, executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “I’ve been in groves across the state and I can tell you this season Florida will once again produce the finest citrus in the world.”
“At this size, with our inventories, we would hope that the market will continue to put upward pressure on grower returns.”
Visit www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Florida/Publications/Citrus/cpfp.htm for the complete USDA estimate. The USDA makes its initial forecast in October and then revises it monthly until the end of the season in July.
To usher in the new season, Florida Citrus Mutual hosted a crop estimate breakfast at Ray-Bob Groves in Alturas this morning. Governor Rick Scott, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam as well as Senator JD Alexander and Rep. Denise Grimsley were in attendance along with about 70 growers, industry representatives and other elected officials.
“What a great event we had to kick off the new season,” Sparks said. “We got some quality time with the Governor in a grove. He was extremely responsive to our issues and promised to keep the lines of communication open between the industry and his office.”
The USDA predicts Florida will harvest 20.1 million boxes of grapefruit in ’11-‘12, up slightly from the 19.75 million boxes produced last season.
The forecast for early and midseason varieties in Florida is projected at 74 million boxes and Valencias are projected to total 73 million boxes this season. For Florida specialty fruit, the USDA predicts 1.1 million boxes of tangelos and 4.7 million boxes of tangerines. The yield for from concentrate orange juice (FCOJ) is expected to be 1.60 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.