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Florida’s Orange Production Declining

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Oranges in Fort Pierce, Florida (Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Oranges in Fort Pierce, Florida (Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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ST. PETERSBURG (CBSMiami/AP) —Florida’s Orange crop this year is looking to be the lowest harvest in 24 years.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday released its citrus production forecast.

The 2013-2014 orange forecast is 110.0 million boxes, down 4 percent from last month, and 18 percent less than last season’s final production figure.

Orange harvesting ends in June, and if the crop doesn’t decline further, it will barely exceed the 110.2 million orange boxes harvested in 1989-90 following the worst freeze in Florida citrus history.

Citrus is big business in Florida. Citrus growers gave Florida 66 percent of the total U.S. market share. About 95 percent of the state’s orange crop is used for juice.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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