Brazil's top citrus state reports major planting decline

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Brazil's top citrus state reports major planting decline

The Brazilian state of São Paulo has lost 150,000 hectares of citrus in three years, according to data from São Paulo's Agriculture Defense Coordination (CDA).orange_small

Crisis in the nation's top citrus producing state has forced producers out of the sector and reduced trees in the state by 26% since 2011, said Brazil's Center for Advanced Studies on Applied Economics (CEPEA).

"In three years, circa 62.7 million trees were eradicated, which is equivalent to 150 thousand hectares. As for the number of farms that are not producing citrus anymore in São Paulo State, the percentage is even higher: 28," said CEPEA in a press release.

Since 2011, the number of registered citrus farms in the state has dropped from 18,500 to 13,400 in the second half of 2013.

Most decline was attributed to increased costs that have forced growers out of production, followed by citrus greening cases, CDA reported.

"After two seasons with negative profitability (2012/13 and 2013/14), many producers decided to abandon the sector, setting aside all the accumulated knowledge about the culture," CEPEA said.

For the 2014-15 season, CDA forecast limited production, provoked by the limited number of trees. Further need for tree eradiction will depend largely on profitability for growers, CEPEA said.

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