Orange juice prices increase due to demand, green citrus



Florida is known for growing oranges and producing orange juice, but according to the United States Department of Agriculture, the state is on track to have its lowest crop yield in more than 75 years.

Simply Orange and Minute Maid orange juice is obtained from samples and hundreds of acres of forest at Tamiami Citrus in Immokalee.

Ron Mahon, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Tamiami Citrus, said they are feeling the impact of the pandemic as people remember the benefits that a glass of orange juice can bring to their immune system. friend.

“We can see that the amount of orange juice that people drink previously was highest during cold and flu season. Now with the COVID outbreak, we have a second peak. That will happen in March, April and it will continue,” Mahon said.

For years, orange groves across the state have faced contagion of their own; Citrus green leaf yellowing, a bacterial disease that slowly infects the tree, opens up to other infections.

Citrus greening makes it hard for orange growers like Mahon to keep your breakfast vitamin C at a reasonable price.

“The water inside it was very, very bitter, it tasted bad,” Mahon said. It’s not good for orange juice.”

Florida is expected to produce about 44 million boxes of oranges this year. According to the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, that’s 200 million boxes less than it was during the state’s peak.

With a surge in consumption from the pandemic, farmers are having a hard time meeting that demand, meaning you’ll have to pay more when you go to the store.

The price of orange juice has increased by about 14%.

“We are doing our best to provide enough supply for the oranges to flow into juice,” said Mahon.

Tamiami Citrus grows Valencia Oranges, an orange that is more resistant to greening than citrus, but Mahon feels the older groves need to do the same to meet demand.

If you have citrus trees in your backyard, you can also experience the citrus greening process.

Symptoms include yellow or yellow spotting, which begins on one branch and spreads, black spots on one side of the midrib but not on the other, and reduced fruit production.

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