Florida citrus production forecast continues downward trend

Yesterday, the USDA released its 2016-2017 Florida citrus forecast and total orange production is estimated at 71 million boxes, down 1 million boxes from the December forecast and 13 percent less than last seasonís production.

The forecast consists of 36.0 million boxes of the non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason, and Navel varieties) and 35.0 million boxes of the Valencia oranges.

Non-Valencia fruit size below minimum

The forecast of non-Valencia production is unchanged at 36.0 million boxes. Final fruit size is below the minimum, requiring 317 pieces of fruit to fill a 90-pound box. Final droppage at 26 percent is above average but below last seasonís record of 32 percent. The Navel forecast, included in the non-Valencia forecast, is lowered 100,000 boxes to 900,000 boxes.

Valencia droppage near maximum

The forecast of Valencia production is down 1.00 million boxes to 35.0 million boxes. Current fruit size is below the average, and is projected to be below average at harvest. Current droppage is near the maximum and projected to continue to be near the maximum until harvest.

White grapefruit forecast lowered

The forecast of all grapefruit production is lowered 300,000 boxes to 9.00 million boxes. The white grapefruit forecast is lowered 300,000 boxes to 1.70 million boxes. The red grapefruit forecast is unchanged at 7.30 million boxes. Current fruit size of white grapefruit is slightly below the minimum, while droppage is above the maximum. Current fruit size of red grapefruit is below the minimum while droppage is slightly below the maximum.

Early tangerine forecast slightly up

The forecast of tangerine and tangelo production is up 20,000 boxes to 1.52 million boxes. The early tangerine forecast (Fallglo and Sunburst varieties) is raised to 620,000 boxes, consisting of 220,000 boxes of Fallglo tangerines and 400,000 boxes of Sunburst tangerines. The Royal tangerine forecast is held at 220,000 boxes. The forecast of the later maturing Honey variety is unchanged at 360,000 boxes. Fallglo tangerine harvest is over, and the Sunburst harvest is nearly complete. Current Honey size is slightly below the minimum, but is projected to be above the minimum at harvest. Projected Honey droppage at 46 percent is close to the maximum.

The forecast of tangelo production is unchanged at 320,000 boxes. The Row Count survey conducted December 27-28, 2016, showed 41 percent of the tangelo rows were harvested. Harvest of the Orlando variety is almost complete for the season with the Minneola variety remaining.

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