Florida's orange crop is expected to increase for the first time in seven years, per the AP. The US Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that 79 million boxes of oranges are expected during the coming season, a 76% increase from the 45 million produced last season. That crop was ravaged by Hurricane Irma, and the industry is still suffering from citrus greening, a disease that kills trees. Each box of oranges weighs 90 pounds.
"I was expecting it to be much lower than that. Very good," Mongi Zekri of the University of Florida tells the Naples Daily News. Still, the forecast is only about a third the size of the typical Florida orange crop of the early 2000s. Almost all Florida oranges are sold to juice manufacturers. The grapefruit crop is expected to grow 73% to 6.7 million boxes, and the combined tangerine and tangelo crop is expected to jump 60% to 1.2 million boxes.
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