The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its May orange crop forecast for the 2010-2011 season, showing a 2 million box reduction bringing the crop to 140 million boxes.

“We understand there has been a little more fruit drop and smaller sizes than initially expected,” said Michael W. Sparks, executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “This is still a quality crop and I think we came through the cold weather earlier this year better than expected.”

Visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Florida/Publications/Citrus/cpfp.htm for the complete USDA estimate.

The USDA makes its initial forecast in October and then revises it monthly until the end of the season in July.

The 140 million box forecast is made up of 70 million early and mid-season varieties, and 70 million Valencias, down from 72 million last month.

For Florida specialty fruit, the USDA’s tangelo estimate remained at 1.15 million boxes, while the tangerine forecast increased by 100,000 boxes to 4.6 million.

The USDA estimate for grapefruit remained unchanged at 19.6 million boxes.

The all variety yield for from frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) held steady at 1.58 gallons per 90-pound box. The Valencia yield increased from 1.65 gallons per box to 1.66 gallons per box.

For more information, visit http://www.flcitrusmutual.com.