Florida citrus ‘closing the door on a difficult season’
The USDA released its final citrus crop estimate, with 15.9 million boxes of oranges projected for the 2022-23 season. The forecast shows a slight increase of 100,000 boxes since last month.
Additionally, the USDA forecasted 1.8 million boxes of grapefruit, a 10,000 box decrease from the June forecast, and 480,000 boxes of tangerines and tangelos, a 10,000 box decrease from last month.
“We've closed the door on a difficult season, but with great hope for a bright future in which Florida's citrus groves are healthy and thriving," said Matt Joyner, CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual.
The executive said that the group is continuing to see advancements in breeding towards HLB tolerant and resistant trees, and that new treatment methods to combat citrus greening are proving effective.
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The state invested significantly this year to support continued research, development of new varieties and citrus marketing.
Legislation to provide citrus growers with hurricane relief is moving through Congress with the help of Florida's Congressional delegation. Florida growers are optimistic about the future of Florida's signature crop."
Florida's 2023-24 fiscal year began July 1, and with that comes more than $65 million in funding from the Florida Legislature to support citrus cultivation.
This investment includes $38 million to support grower research and replanting of citrus trees.
The Florida Citrus Mutual was founded in 1948 and currently represents nearly 2,000 grower members as the state's largest citrus grower organization.
The Florida citrus industry creates a $6.8 billion annual economic impact, employing nearly 33,000 people, and covering more than 400,000 acres.