Florida might have its smallest orange crop in 13 years. State agriculture officials have downsized the estimated 2005 orange harvest – they say it will be 810 million pounds less than previously forecast. Officials say the revision is the result of smaller fruit size and fruit dropping off tress because of last year’s hurricanes. Some growers took a big hit, but overall, George Austin, with The Gulf Citrus Growers Association, says the reduction is actually good for the industry –
“We’ll probably see a little further increase in the price of late oranges, valencia oranges and the other thing it will give us an opportunity to work off some of the excess inventory we’ve built up in the past couple years.”
The vast majority of florida’s orange crop is processed into juice, and consumers can expect to pay higher prices that commodity. Meanwhile the grapefruit forecast remains unchanged – experts have said it will be the smallest crop in nearly seventy years.
Friday, 11 March 2005 00:00