Florida's orange crop estimate gets sunnier

Posted at 6:48 AM, May 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-11 06:48:44-04

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Florida's citrus orange crop estimate has gotten sunnier.

Federal agricultural officials said Tuesday that the estimate for Florida's orange crop has increased 7 percent over the previous month's estimate.

Florida orange growers now are expected to produce 81.1 million boxes in the 2015-2016 season. The rise comes primarily from an extra 5 million boxes of Valencia oranges, which now are expected to produce 45 million boxes.

Early-to-midseason varieties also jumped slightly to 36.1 million boxes. The grapefruit crop estimate also rose slightly to 10.8 million boxes. The current orange crop estimate is still significantly lower than the 2014-2015 season's 96.8 million boxes of oranges.

Florida's citrus industry has been decimated in the past decade by the citrus greening disease.

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