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Serving: West

Citrus forecasts down from initial estimates

Tim Hearden WFP-tim-hearden-oranges1.jpg
The drop in production is attributed to the heavy crop and extended season in 2020-21.

A huge crop of navel and Mandarin oranges in 2020-21 will take its toll on this year's production, according to revised estimates from the citrus industry.

The California Citrus Mutual Marketing Committee predicts the total crop for the 2021-22 season will be down 20% from last season’s final utilized, or sold, production.

The Mandarin crop will be down as much as 45% from last season, CCM projects.

Expectations have fallen since September's initial 2021-22 California Navel Orange Objective Measurement Report published by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The report predicted a rnavel orange crop of 70 million cartons, down 14% from the previous year’s total utilized production. About 4% of last season’s crop was not picked or sold.

The drop in production is attributed to the heavy crop and extended season in 2020-21, according to Citrus Mutual. Because of larger sizes and market conditions, fruit remained on the tree far longer than is typical, which negatively affected the current year’s crop size, the growers' group explains.

“The 2021-22 season is shaping up to be far different than the previous season," CCM President and CEO Casey Creamer said in a release. "Last season, we had a very heavy crop and there were a lot of growers whose fruit was never harvested. Shippers extended the season well into August in an effort to market and sell as much of the crop as possible, but ultimately about 4% was dropped to the ground.”

Navels and Mandarins harvests are expected to continue through May and June, respectively, with the industry reporting favorable size structure and high sugar content.

“We expect this year’s lighter crop to move more quickly through the market with its high sugar content and excellent eating quality," Creamer said.

TAGS: Fruit
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