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Orange crop forecast holds steady

The U.S. Department of Agriculture maintained its estimate of the 2012-13 Florida orange crop at 138 million boxes. The Valencia variety remained at 71 million, while early-mid varieties stayed at 67 million boxes.

The USDA makes its initial estimate in October of each year and revises it monthly as the crop takes shape until the end of the season in July. The USDA's October orange estimate was 154 million boxes. Visit www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Florida/Publications/Citrus/cpfp.htm for the complete USDA estimate.

The 2012-13 Florida grapefruit estimate increased from 17 million boxes to 18.3 million boxes. Tangerines inched lower to 3.4 million boxes from 3.5 million boxes while tangelos stayed at 1 million boxes. The yield for from concentrate orange juice decreased slightly to 1.60 gallons per 90-pound box.

The Florida citrus industry creates a $9 billion annual economic influence, employing nearly 76,000 people and covering about 550,000 acres. During the 2011-12 season, Florida produced 146.6 million boxes of oranges.

Founded in 1948, Florida Citrus Mutual is the state's largest citrus grower organization. More information is available at www.flcitrusmutual.com.

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