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USDA Predicts Bigger Florida Orange Crop

ORLANDO (CBSMiami/AP) - Even in the wake of the citrus greening epidemic, 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.

Grapefruits won't be sharing the same good fortune as oranges. The forecast calls for an estimated 15 million boxes of grapefruit this upcoming season, down 15,650 boxes from last season.

Lemons don't have anything to be sour about. They will produce 19,000 boxes, which is the same total as last year.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said 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.

(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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