Florida's orange output forecast to reach 145.2 million boxes in 2011/2012, up 200,000 boxes from previous estimate, USDA says; estimate made up of 74.2 million boxes of non-Valencia, 71 million boxes of Valencia oranges

Andrew Rogers

Andrew Rogers

May 10, 2012 – U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

TALLAHASSEE, Florida , May 10, 2012 (press release) – The 2011-2012 Florida all orange forecast released today by the USDA Agricultural Statistics Board is increased 200,000 boxes to 145.2 million boxes. The total is comprised of 74.2 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason, Navel, and Temple varieties) and 71.0 million boxes of Valencia oranges. The hurricane seasons of 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 have been excluded from the usual 10-year regression analysis and from comparisons of the current season to previous seasons. For those previous 8 seasons, the May forecast has deviated from final production by an average of 1 percent with 2 seasons above and 6 below, with differences ranging from 1 percent above to 3 percent below. All references to “average”, “minimum”, or “maximum” refer to the previous eight non-hurricane seasons unless noted.

The forecast of non-Valencia orange production is increased by 200,000 boxes to 74.2 million boxes based on utilization. This forecast is nearly 4 million boxes greater than last season’s production. The route survey (Row Count) conducted May 1-2 indicated over 99 percent of the non-Valencia rows were harvested. The Navel forecast, included in the non-Valencia forecast is final at 2.65 million boxes which equals the 2010-2011 utilization.

The forecast of Valencia production is unchanged at 71.0 million boxes. Weekly utilization of Valencias peaked at over 6 million boxes the second week of April. The route survey (Row Count) conducted May 1-2 showed 75 percent of the rows have been harvested. If realized, this forecast will surpass the utilization of the past two seasons.

The forecast of all grapefruit production is unchanged from the previous forecast. Of the total grapefruit forecast, 5.3 million boxes are white and 13.5 million boxes are the colored varieties. The route survey conducted May1-2 shows 98 percent of the white rows and 94 percent of the colored rows were harvested. Grapefruit utilization recovered after the two hurricane seasons, but has been declining since 2006-2007.

The forecast of all tangerine production is unchanged at 4.3 million boxes, consisting of the early varieties (Fallglo and Sunburst) at 2.35 million boxes and the later maturing Honey tangerine variety at 1.95 million boxes. Both the early tangerine varieties and the Honey tangerine harvest are complete for the season. The all tangerine forecast is 8 percent below the 2010-2011 production.

The forecast of tangelo production is unchanged from the previous forecast. The Row Count survey showed all of the rows harvested. This harvest equals the 2010-2011 utilization, and is 28 percent higher than the 2009-2010 season.

The projection for frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) is reduced to 1.61 gallons per box of 42° Brix concentrate for all oranges, down from 1.62 gallons per box in April. The late (Valencia) projection is 1.71 gallons per box, down from 1.72 gallons per box last month. The early-midseason component is final at 1.555402 gallons per box, as reported by the Florida Department of Citrus. Last season’s final yields as reported by the Florida Department of Citrus are: all oranges, 1.586081 gallons per box; early-midseason, 1.522652; and late season (Valencia), 1.664737.

In the citrus growing areas, weather stations reported temperatures ranging from highs in the upper 80s to lower 90s. Rainfall was generally light across the citrus producing region, with the exception of one storm bringing moderate rainfall toward the end of the month. Drought conditions in the citrus region ranged from moderate on the East Coast to extreme on much of the West Coast according to the U.S. Drought Monitor as of May 1, 2012.

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