Mother Nature Has Not Been Kind: Florida’s citrus crop challenges and hurdles stretch back years

Mother Nature has not dealt kindly with the state of Florida’s citrus industry with the USDA reporting production is at record lows.

Hurricanes, freezes, and disease have damaged the state’s crop over time, beginning in the 1970s and 1980s with initial devastating freezes forcing growers to move father south.
Between 2004 and 2005 four hurricanes reduced the size of the orange crop even further and spread a bacterial disease to previously unaffected areas.

Citrus greening disease also became a major issue; hurricanes in 2017 and 2022 added to the losses.

The USDA’s most recent forecast for Florida oranges predicts this season to reach only 846,000 tons. While it is 19% higher than last year’s, it is still the second-lowest harvest in nearly 90 years.

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