California Poised To Usurp Florida As The King Of US Oranges
by Marvin G Perez, Bloomberg
Posted: 2017-12-26 09:00:33 EST

It’s been a miserable few years for Florida’s orange crop. And now to add insult to injury, California is gearing up to steal the Sunshine State’s crown as the king of U.S. citrus production.

After a decade of the citrus-greening disease devastating Florida oranges, Hurricane Irma smashed into groves this year, inflicting yet another blow to the crop. Farmers in the state are set to collect 46 million boxes of the fruit this season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday. That would be the smallest since 1945 and would match California’s harvest. A box weighs 90 pounds (41 kilograms) for Florida, and California changed its weight since 2009-10 to 80 pounds.

Michael Sparks, chief executive officer for Florida Citrus Mutual, the state’s largest grower group, expects the situation for the crop “to get worse before it gets better.” If that’s the case, and California ends up with the bigger crop, it would be the first time in 73 years the state would best Florida.

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