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   Analysts Predict Larger Florida Orange Crop
by Marvin G. Perez, Fabiana Batista and Justina Vasquez, Bloomberg
Posted: Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 9:14AM EDT

After enduring pestilence and a deadly hurricane, Florida’s orange growers are finally catching a break.

In the season that starts Oct. 1, the state may reap 70 million boxes of the fruit, according to the average estimate of four traders and analysts in a Bloomberg survey. That compares with 44.95 million the prior year, the smallest crop since 1945, government data show. The survey response range was 65 million to 80 million.

The widely watched annual estimate by Kissimmee citrus consultant Elizabeth Steger is expected to be released to clients Tuesday.

Orange production in Florida, the No. 1 U.S. grower, has been dwindling for years thanks to the scourge of the Asian citrus psyllid, a tiny winged insect that spreads the bacterial disease known as citrus greening. Greening has decimated groves and increased costs for crop maintenance. Last year, the industry also suffered a blow from Hurricane Irma after the storm smashed into trees in September and damaged fruit.

To read the rest of the story, please go to: Bloomberg

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