USDA Expects 21 Percent Drop in Florida Orange Production After Hurricane Irma

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USDA Expects 21 Percent Drop in Florida Orange Production After Hurricane Irma

Orange growers in Florida, the largest U.S. producer, will harvest 54 million boxes in the 2017-18 marketing year, the least since 1947 - an era when citrus irrigation was rare - the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report Thursday.A survey of analysts conducted by Bloomberg indicated a crop of 58.2 million boxes.A box weighs 90 pounds, or 41 kilograms.

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.

Orange juice for November delivery rose 1.6 percent to $1.60 a pound at 10:53 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S.in NY. The national all orange forecast is down to 4.34 million tons, a drop of 16 percent from past year.

10/11/2017Hurricane Irma slammed every aspect of Florida agriculture from citrus groves to cattle ranches to sugar cane fields and more causing more than $2.5 billion in damages, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said. The citrus industry sustained the largest amount of damage, estimated at more than $760 million. Texas's state farm agency has yet to release a damage estimate for Harvey, which hit the Gulf Coast region in late August. "We also request additional flexibility for the secretary to use CCC and Section 32 funds for disaster relief and recovery where traditional disaster programs and authorities prove woefully inadequate, including for particularly hard hit crops like citrus, and for a diverse suite of specialty crops, aquaculture products, and greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture products in Florida that are not well served by traditional USDA safety net programs".

The first citrus forecast for the season from USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service is calling for the all orange forecast for the 2017-2018 season to 4.34 million tons, down 16 percent from the 2016-2017 final utilization.

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