WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts this year’s total orange production will be 5% lower than last year and 2 million boxes fewer than February’s prediction, according to the agency’s National Agriculture Statistics Service’s report on Friday.
Total orange production is predicted to be down 1% from February's forecast*, with grapefruit production down 6%, Valencia orange production down 4% and tangerine and tangelo production unchanged.
The USDA dropped the grapefruit forecast 1 million boxes.
“The drop surveys conducted in February continue to show droppage for white and colored grapefruit to be the highest in any season not affected by a significant weather event,” the agency wrote in the report.
“The size surveys also confirmed fruit size to be the smallest in the series which began with the 1968-1969 season.”
*This article was edited on March 14 to clarify the forecast percentages.
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