Citrus Forecast Up Less Than 1 Percent in USDA’s June Report


BARTOW, FLA. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a June 2024 revised citrus crop forecast for the 2023-2024 harvest season on June 12. Florida citrus growers are expected to harvest 17.86 million boxes of oranges this season, an increase of 60,000 boxes compared with last month’s crop estimate. Additionally, the USDA forecasted 1.79 million boxes of grapefruit and 450,000 boxes of tangerines and tangelos.

“The June 2024 revised citrus crop estimate increased slightly over last month, giving growers renewed hope that our industry will overcome the ongoing challenges the Sunshine State’s citrus industry is encountering on its path to recovery. Florida citrus growers remain remarkably resilient, seeking innovative solutions to overcome drought across the citrus belt, recover from 2022 hurricanes Ian and Nicole, and combat citrus greening,” said Matt Joyner, executive vice president and CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “The time-honored tradition of serving orange juice on families’ breakfast tables drives Florida citrus growers to continue rebuilding, replanting and recovering. New treatments and therapies are improving the health of citrus trees impacted by citrus greening, and more time will yield optimal results. Florida Citrus Mutual is committed to working with growers, researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders to seek viable solutions to the most pressing needs facing our industry. We continue to hold onto hope for a sustainable future for Florida citrus.”

Today’s crop estimate comes on the same day Florida Governor Ron DeSantis approved more than $47 million in the Focus on Florida’s Future 2024-25 state fiscal year budget to support Florida’s citrus industry. Florida Citrus Mutual applauds Governor DeSantis for prioritizing our state’s signature crop. Additionally, Mutual thanks Florida Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson and Senate President-Designate Ben Albritton, a Florida citrus grower himself, for championing these investments to revitalize Florida’s iconic citrus industry.

During the upcoming fiscal year, beginning on July 1, funding will bolster research and innovation, field trials, pest management and other resources to aid in the Florida citrus industry’s great American comeback. Notable line items include $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 the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to suppress the Asian citrus psyllid that spreads citrus greening.

Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening, was introduced to Florida in 2005 by an invasive pest known as the Asian citrus psyllid. Since 2005, citrus greening has spread to all commercial groves in Florida. Trees with greening decline in health over time, produce fewer, smaller fruits and ultimately die. As a result, Florida’s citrus industry has been decimated by citrus greening.

At its peak during the 1997-98 season, the citrus industry produced 244 million boxes of oranges. The USDA’s June revised forecast for the 2023-2024 harvest season represents just 7.3% 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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