Florida citrus group disagrees with latest USDA crop estimate

Florida citrus group disagrees with latest USDA crop estimate

The first citrus forecast for the season from USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service is calling for the all orange forecast for the 2017-2018 season to 4.34 million tons, down 16 percent from the 2016-2017 final utilization.

Florida's largest citrus grower organization says the latest USDA crop estimate issued October 12 is too high and doesn't correctly reflect the damage Hurricane Irma inflicted on citrus growers. "This may, temporarily, mean less Florida Orange Juice on grocery store shelves and a corresponding price increase", she said, without elaborating on how much the price hike will be.

Following Irma, Putnam stated that Florida citrus sustained more than $760 million in damages, and this week he was in Washington D.C. discussing the effects of Irma and make a case for federal assistance.

Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus, said that the Florida Citrus industry as a whole has taken a "heavy hit" this hurricane season.

Putnam released the a statement Thursday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its initial citrus crop forecast for the 2017-2018 season.

September 10, Irma hit hard Florida's major citrus-growing region with sustained winds well over 100 miles per hour, blowing fruit off the trees with widespread tree damage.

Florida's orange production will plunge 21 percent to a 71-year low after damage wrought by Hurricane Irma devastated the harvest, while output of cotton also suffered in storm-hit areas, government figures showed. Total specialty comes in at 1 million boxes. The total grapefruit forecast is for 4.9 million boxes, with whites at 900,000 and colored at 4 million boxes. "We had groves underwater and those trees aren't just going to bounce back and continue producing fruit".

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