Florida is the home to great beaches and weather, but it is also the home to the country’s majority of citrus. The annual orange harvest has seen steady declines over the past three seasons from eight percent to as high as 22 percent. Florida growers are now projecting that they will see a 3.3 percent decline in next year’s crop too.
The Good and the Bad
While another decline is never good, some experts feel the small decline is better than a dramatic 20 percent downturn. Florida citrus farmers are becoming more aggressive in keeping their trees productive and preventing disease, which was one of the main causes of the decline in the first place. So far the estimate for the 2015-2016 grapefruit crop is 12.3 million boxes, but the USDA will continue to generate estimates throughout October and revise monthly until the season begins in July, so the numbers do have time to improve.
Why the Shortage?
A fatal bacterial disease known as “citrus greening” is the main reason for the decline the past three seasons. Because the decline estimated for next year is so little, experts feel that more farmers are overcoming the effects of greening.
What Does this Mean for the Food Service Industry?
The downturn still means higher prices for restaurants, caterers and other professionals that rely on fresh produce to make their products. While there may not be a shortage, the high demand and low inventory will raise costs for some companies.
If your business relies on citrus produce, whether it is limes and lemons or fresh picked oranges, talk to us today. Jordan Banana Company carries the largest selection of wholesale, quality produce straight from the growers. You can order your citrus products right here on our website today and rest assured that you are getting the best prices. Call us at 412-469-1007 or shop online for fresh produce now.