Florida citrus growers continue to lose ground in their decade-long fight against citrus greening disease, falling to a record low production this season.
The USDA forecast March 9 Florida citrus growers will produce 67 million boxes of oranges for the 2016-2017 season, down more than 17 percent from the 81.5 million boxes harvested last season. This forecast represents a decline in Florida citrus production of more than 70 percent since peak production of 244 million boxes during the 1997-98 season.
“Although not unexpected, today’s historically low forecast is the latest example of citrus greening’s continued devastation of Florida’s citrus industry. Until a long-term solution is discovered, which some of our state’s brightest minds are working on, we must support Florida’s multi-billion dollar citrus industry and the more than 60,000 jobs it supports,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.