Citrus Forecast Down 5% in USDA’s May Forecast


Bartow, Fla. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a May 2024 revised citrus crop forecast for the 2023-2024 harvest season on Friday, May 10. Florida citrus growers are expected to harvest 17.8 million boxes of oranges this season, down 5 percent from the April forecast. Additionally, the USDA forecasted 1.8 million boxes of grapefruit and 500,000 boxes of tangerines and tangelos.

“Florida citrus growers remain optimistic about the future of the state’s signature crop amidst the decrease in this month’s revised USDA forecast,” said Matt Joyner, Executive Vice President and CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “Given the impacts of citrus greening and the destruction caused by Hurricane Ian, growers need the grace of time to rebuild. Fortunately, we have deployed effective treatments and therapies to combat citrus greening and improve tree health, expediting recovery efforts until long-term solutions are available. Growers continue to see gradual, promising signs of recovery in their groves that offer assurance of hope for the future of Florida’s citrus industry.” 

Florida’s citrus industry has made notable strides toward increasing its production over last year. This month’s revised estimate of 17.8 million boxes of oranges is 1.95 million more than the 15.85 million boxes of oranges at the end of the 2022-2023 citrus harvest season. Since last month, the USDA crop estimate is down 1 million boxes of oranges in May 2024. 

Florida’s citrus industry continues to await the Governor’s approval of the 2024-25 state fiscal year budget. If funding is approved, more than $47 million will be allocated to fund research and innovation, field trials, pest management and other resources to support Florida’s citrus industry. Funding includes $18 million to support research for citrus treatments and therapies, $8.3 million toward the Citrus Health Response Program and $2.7 million for Pest Management through FDACS to suppress the Asian citrus psyllid that spreads citrus greening. Florida Citrus Mutual applauds Florida Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson and Senate-President Designate Ben Albritton, a Florida citrus grower himself, for championing these investments to revitalize Florida’s signature crop. 

At its peak during the 1997-98 season, the citrus industry produced 244 million boxes of oranges. The USDA’s May forecast for the 2023-2024 harvest season represents just 7.2% of the industry’s peak production. Fostering a robust citrus industry through advocacy, research, funding and proactive initiatives is crucial for fruitful seasons ahead. 

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