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Valley Fall Orange Crop Down On Small Set

September 14,2017-

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 7.14.16 AMWe should see a smaller California navel orange crop this winter – with USDA saying – expect a decline to 68 million cartons, down from 80 million to 90 million cartons average in the past few years. The smaller crop comes as fruit-set down this year along with acreage to 115,000 acres, down 5000 from last year.

NASS survey data indicates a fruit set per tree of 273, below the five-year average of 348. The average September 1 diameter was 2.341 inches, above the five-year average of 2.240 inches.Tulare County, the number one navel organ producer has a set this year of just 266 oranges per tree, down from 380 per tree last year. Fresno County trees fell to 174 fruit per tree, down from nearly 300 per tree .Kern County remains the highest count at 384 per tree ,down from 474 last year.

The smaller California crop comes as Florida orange groves suffered significant fruit loss in the recent hurricane.One estimate says Hurricane Irma caused losses of 50 to 70 percent of Florida’s citrus crop in portions of South Florida, according to the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association.

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