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Citrus production forecast remains in freefall

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The federal government is forecasting a 14 percent decrease in Florida orange production next year and a drop in grapefruit of 11.5 percent. The National Agriculture Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its report Wednesday. In another sign of the citrus greening epidemic facing the industry, the service foresees yields of only 70 million boxes of oranges and 9.6 million boxes of grapefruit, the state’s signature fruits. It was the first citrus crop forecast for the 2016-2017 season.  “Although not unexpected, today’s…

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Feds predict 8 percent drop in Florida’s orange crop

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released a dire forecast for Florida’s orange crop. The estimate released Tuesday predicts that the 2015-2016 orange crop will be down 8 percent from the previous year. Officials predict the state’s orange production will be 74 million boxes. By comparison, in the 2012-2013 year, 133 million boxes were harvested. The newly released statistics show just how severely citrus greening has devastated Florida’s top fruit crop. Greening is spread by a gnat-sized insect called the…

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