The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its initial citrus crop forecast for
the 2010-11 season Oct. 8, estimating that Florida will produce 146 million
boxes of oranges — a 9 percent increase over last season.
"We had a big bloom in the spring, so we figured this crop would be larger.
This number is not a surprise," Michael W. Sparks, executive vice president
and chief executive officer of Florida Citrus Mutual, said in an Oct. 8 press
release. “It does prove that despite many challenges, Florida growers continue
to be the best and most efficient citrus producers. Recognizing we are sitting
on lower [orange juice] inventories, we would hope that even with a larger
crop, the market will continue to put upward pressure on grower returns.”
The USDA makes its initial forecast in October and then revises it monthly
until the end of the season in July. The USDA predicted that Florida would
harvest 20 million boxes of grapefruit in 2010-11, down slightly from the
20.3 million boxes produced last season.
The forecast for early and midseason varieties in Florida is projected at 69
million boxes, and Valencias are projected to total 77 million boxes this
For Florida specialty fruit, the USDA predicts 1.1 million boxes of tangelos
and 4.5 million boxes of tangerines. The yield for concentrate orange juice is
expected to be 1.61 gallons per 90-pound box.