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USDA Predicts Drop In Citrus Production This Year

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is predicting a drop in citrus production for this year.

USDA officials said Thursday they predict about 102 million boxes of oranges will be produced. That's down from the 104 million boxes produced last year.

Following the announcement, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam released the following statement, saying in part, "The future of Florida's iconic citrus industry continues to be threatened by citrus greening. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has requested $18 million this year to support research, to grow clean citrus stock and to remove and replant diseased trees. We will fight to save Florida's $10.7 billion citrus industry, and the 64,000 jobs the industry supports." 

This year's  forecast is a 59 percent decline since the peak citrus production of 254 million boxes from 1997 to 1998.

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