Miami, Dec 10 (PTI) The orange crop in Florida is expected to decline by 29% this season, federal officials said, among other reasons as Hurricanes Ian and Nicole battered the southern US state.
Orange production for the 2022-2023 season is estimated at 20 million boxes, according to a report released Friday afternoon by the United States Department of Agriculture (USAD), which is 8 million fewer than the forecast made in October and noted losses. I did not keep Due to Hurricanes Ian and Nicole.
USAD states that, if this forecast materializes, the figure would be 51% lower than the production recorded at the end of last season of this iconic Florida fruit.
In the case of Valencia oranges, which are the most grown in this state and widely used in the production of juice, the drop is even greater, 36% compared to the October forecast, when the crop was estimated at 17 million. was imposed. boxes, while the estimate for this month is 1.3 million boxes.
The department said of the variety, “The current fruit size is less than the minimum and is expected to remain less than the minimum at harvest.”
Other citrus crops in Florida have also been affected by Ian, which made landfall in that state in late September as a Category 4 hurricane, and the lesser-intensity Nicole in November.
USAD expects shortfalls in other citrus crops in the state, with 200,000 boxes less than expected grapefruit production and 100,000 boxes less mandarins and tangelos in October, which will likely be reflected in increased prices.
In Florida, the damage caused by these storms is not only limited to the cultivation of oranges and citrus, but also to agriculture in general, as reflected in a report by the state agency in charge of the region, which estimated $1,800 million in damage. Damage was estimated at more than Rs. Dollar due to powerful Hurricane Ian.
Ian’s damage has yet to be assessed with certainty, but has been estimated at more than $50 billion in Florida alone.