Florida's Agriculture Commissioner Calls Feds Citrus Forecast Into Question

Hurricane-Damaged Citrus Crop Leads To Higher Juice Prices

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its forecast for the citrus crop, but many believe it paints a better picture for Florida citrus than what is reality.  

The department projects 54 million boxes of oranges for the upcoming season, which is down 21 percent from last season, and 4.9 million boxes of grapefruit, down 37 percent.  

Count Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam among those who are skeptical about the forecast.  He says it can't account for all of the damage from Hurricane Irma.

The initial damage estimate for Florida citrus is more than 760 million dollars but Putnam says it will be weeks if not months before they know the true cost of Irma.

The general consensus among orange growers is that 50 to 60% of the crop is lost.

Photo: Getty Images

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