USDA releases initial Florida orange crop estimate
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has said its initial estimate of the 2020-2021 Florida orange crop is 57 million boxes.
The USDA forecast the Valencia crop at 34 million boxes and Early/Mid-Season varieties at 23 million boxes.
The estimate is down on the 2019-20 season, when growers packed 67.5 million boxes. That number was below the 71.85 million boxes filled during the 2018-2019 season.
"The juice we will squeeze from this year's crop added to our current inventory is great news for the consumer. We will have an adequate supply of quality Florida orange juice heading into the winter cold and flu season," said Michael W. Sparks, executive vice president and CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual.
"People can turn to OJ and its Vitamin C to stay healthy."
"I am proud of the Florida citrus grower who continues to produce the best fruit in the world in a very challenging environment."
The USDA issues its initial estimate in October of each year and then revises it monthly as the crop takes shape until the end of the season in July.
The estimate of the 2020-2021 Florida grapefruit crop is 4.5 million boxes and specialty citrus is 1.1 million boxes.
The Florida citrus industry creates an $8.6 billion annual economic impact, employing nearly 51,000 people, and covering about 400,000 acres. Founded in 1948, Florida Citrus Mutual is the state's largest citrus grower organization.