Florida’s orange crop is seeing small increases this week after a multitude of challenges

After several trying decades for Florida’s citrus industry, new numbers this week show the orange crop is seeing some small gains.

“For non-valencia, it went from 6.8 million boxes down to 6.76 million boxes. In other words, it’s down 40,000 boxes or 1% from last month. And our valencias are 11.1 million boxes compared to last month’s 11 million even boxes. So that’s actually up 1%,” said Mark Hudson.

Hurricanes, freezes, and disease have damaged Florida’s citrus crop over time, beginning in the 1970s when freezes forced growers to move farther south.

By 2005, four hurricanes reduced the size of the orange crop even farther and spread a bacterial disease to previously unaffected areas. Citrus greening disease also became a major issue, and hurricanes in the last decade added to the losses.

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