Orange crop plunges to 71-year low after Irma

Orange crop plunges to 71-year low after Irma”

The Florida all orange forecast, at 54.0 million boxes (2.43 million tons), is down 21 percent from last season's final utilization. I am concerned that today's forecast does not accurately estimate the damages to our industry, given that groves are still under water and fruit is still dropping from trees.

In the season that ended September 30, orange output was 68.7 million boxes, the lowest since 1964, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.

Prices are also under pressure because Brazil, the top supplier, has ample stocks, is harvesting more, and will compensate for lower supplies from Florida, Burak Kazaz, professor of supply chain management at Syracuse University'sWhitman School of Management, said in a telephone interview. Estimated productivity in Texas, the biggest US grower of the fiber, fell to 745 pounds per acre from 757 pounds predicted in September, with much of the state's growing area unaffected by Harvey. The national all orange forecast is down to 4.34 million tons, a drop of 16 percent from past year.

Florida's Department of Citrus told FOX Business that farmers across the state are reporting anywhere from 30-70% crop loss over the last few weeks.

At 31 million boxes, that's the level for Florida's orange crop following damage from Hurricane Irma, a state citrus group said Tuesday. Hurricane Irma's path coincided with some of Florida's most productive agricultural landscapes, and consequently it caused major losses to all segments of production agriculture.

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Commissioner Putnam announced that Florida citrus sustained more than $760 million in damages.

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