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Florida orange production down nearly 30 percent over two years

Florida orange production is projected to come in at 68.7 million boxes this year, down nearly 30 percent from the 2014-15 crop. The 2015-16 Florida orange crop comprised 81.5 million boxes, a 16 percent decrease from the 2014-15 crop of 96.8 million boxes of oranges.

While there has been a sharp decrease in production, the latest forecast increased slightly -- by 200,000 boxes -- from June's projection, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

“Ending the season on a positive note is a big deal because it shows there is still investment in Florida’s signature crop," Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus, said in a press release. "It takes quite serious effort to produce every single piece of fruit. Every additional box shows promise for Florida citrus.”