Freeze framed: Florida's orange crop estimate lowered by USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has lowered its estimate for Florida's orange crop by 2 million boxes for 2010-11 season.

Florida growers are now expected to harvest 138 million boxes of oranges.

"We continue to see the effects of the freeze events that hit Florida citrus in December as well as smaller fruit sizes," said Michael W. Sparks, executive vice president and CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, in a statement.

The grapefruit estimate remains the same at 19.6 million boxes. The tangerine forecast increased by 200,000 boxes to 4.4 million, while the tangelo estimate remains the same at 1 million boxes.

For the complete USDA estimate, visit www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Florida/Publications/Citrus/cpfp.htm. The USDA makes it initial forecast in October and revises it monthly until the season ends in July.

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