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USDA lowers Florida citrus project from 54M boxes to 50M boxes

By Times Staff
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reduced its Florida citrus forecast from 54 million boxes of oranges to 50 million boxes for the year. | [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

Just a month after forecasting Florida’s orange crop to be 54 million boxes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has dropped its estimate down to 50 million boxes.

Florida Citrus Mutual, an industry trade group, conducted a survey of growers around Florida to get an estimate of the yields post-Hurricane Irma, forecasting the orange crop at 31 million boxes — the lowest in 75 years.

Industry groups and Adam Putnam, Florida commissioner of agriculture, raised concerns immediately last month that the USDA’s numbers were too high.