Florida Citrus Mutual News re USDA OJ Buy & Crop Forecast Update

Gary Cooper Citrus, Florida

FL Citrus Mutual CEO Mike SparksIn this post, a couple of our recent broadcasts featuring Florida Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks (photo) reacting to USDA’s announcement it plans to make a large O J purchase for federal feeding programs.

Also, here is the news release from Mutual about the January Citrus Crop Forecast update from USDA, out early this morning.
Sponsoring this news report: Stallings Crop Insurance
LAKELAND, Fla. (Florida Citrus Mutual – January 12, 2009) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released its January orange crop forecast for the 2008-2009 season, reducing its earlier estimate by 3 million boxes to 162 million boxes.
“This is a manageable crop and hopefully the reduced production will spur higher prices to growers because right now they are facing very high input costs associated with disease pressure and fertilizer prices,” said Michael W. Sparks, executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “We are in the middle of a very challenging season.”
Visit www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Florida/Publications/Citrus/cpfp.htm for the complete USDA estimate. The USDA makes its initial forecast in October and then revises it monthly until the end of the season in July. In 2007-2008, Florida harvested 170.2 million boxes of oranges.
The USDA maintained its prediction that 23 million boxes of grapefruit will be produced in ’08-’09.
A lower forecast for early/midseason varieties and navels in Florida accounts for the estimate’s decrease. The early and midseason crop is now projected at 84 million boxes, down from 87 million boxes. The Valencias projection is unchanged at 78 million boxes this season. Florida specialty fruit stayed the same; the USDA predicts 1.5 million boxes of tangelos and 4.9 million boxes of tangerines. The yield for from-concentrate orange juice (FCOJ) is expected to be 1.62 gallons per 90-pound box, up from 1.58.
The Florida citrus industry creates a $9.3 billion annual economic impact, employing nearly 76,000 people, and covering more than 576,000 acres. Founded in 1948 and currently representing nearly 8,000 grower members, Florida Citrus Mutual is the state’s largest citrus grower organization. For more information, visit www.flcitrusmutual.com.