USDA predicts bigger Florida orange crop than last year

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ORLANDO, Florida — Federal agriculture officials are predicting an increase in Florida oranges for the upcoming growing season.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday predicted Florida's orange crop would produce 108 million boxes, up from last season's 104.4 million boxes.

Each box of oranges weighs about 90 pounds.

The forecast for grapefruit was down slightly from last year. An estimated 15 million boxes of grapefruit are predicted for this upcoming season, down 15,650 boxes from last season.

The estimate for lemons was the same as last year, 19,000 boxes.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says the orange forecast is welcome news given that growers have been fighting the bacterial disease of citrus greening.

Citrus greening causes fruit to drop and weakens the health of citrus trees.

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