The 2012-2013 Florida all-orange forecast released today by the USDA Agricultural Statistics Board is 146.0 million boxes, down 5 percent from October and 600,000 boxes fewer than last season’s production.

The forecast is comprised of 67.0 million boxes of the non-Valencia oranges (early, mid-season, Navel, and Temple varieties) and 79.0 million boxes of the Valencia oranges.

The hurricane seasons of 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 have been excluded from the usual 10-year regression analysis and from comparisons of the current season to previous seasons.

For those previous 8 seasons, the December forecast has deviated from final production by an average of 3 percent with 6 seasons above and 2 below, with differences ranging from 3 percent below to 4 percent above.

All references to “average”, “minimum”, and “maximum” refer to the previous 8 non-hurricane seasons unless noted.

The forecast of non-Valencia production is lowered by 7.0 million boxes to 67.0 million boxes. Current size is near the minimum and projected to remain close to minimum at harvest.

Current droppage is steadily increasing and is projected to be highest since the 1969-1970 season.

The Navel forecast, included in the non-Valencia forecast, is reduced by 300,000 boxes to 1.9 million boxes. If realized, this utilization will be the lowest since 1984-1985.

Final Navel size is near average but final droppage is the highest in any season since 1990-1991.

The forecast of Valencia production is lowered by 1.0 million boxes to 79.0 million boxes. Current fruit size is slightly above the minimum and is projected to remain below average.

Current droppage is slightly above average and projected to remain near average.

The forecast of all grapefruit production is reduced by 2.3 million boxes to 18.0 million boxes. The white grapefruit forecast is reduced by 800,000 boxes to 5.0 million boxes.

The colored grapefruit forecast is reduced 1.5 million boxes to 13.0 million boxes.

White grapefruit current fruit size is below the minimum and droppage is above the maximum.

Colored grapefruit fruit size is also below the minimum and droppage is above the maximum. Droppage is projected to be above average at harvest for all varieties.

Tangerine production

The forecast of all tangerine production is reduced 600,000 boxes to 3.8 million boxes. The early tangerine forecast (Fallglo and Sunburst) is reduced 400,000 boxes to 2.0 million boxes.

The forecast of the later maturing Honey variety is reduced 200,000 boxes to 1.8 million boxes.

The decrease in early tangerines is based on record high droppage and record low sizes for the Sunburst variety.

Projected Honey fruit size is below average while the droppage rate is above average.

The forecast of tangelo production is reduced 100,000 boxes to 1.1 million boxes. Tangelo sizes are below average and droppage is above the maximum and final for the season. Approximately 281 pieces of fruit are required to fill a 1 3/5 bushel box.

The projection for frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) remains 1.61 gallons per box of 42° Brix concentrate.

Last season’s final yield for all oranges was 1.628480 gallons per box, as reported by the Florida Department of Citrus.

Yield projections for the early- midseason and late components will be published in January. All projections of yield assume the processing relationships this season will be similar to those of the past several seasons.

Regular bloom fruit samples were collected on Nov. 26-27 from groves on established routes in Florida’s five major citrus producing areas and tested Nov. 28-30. All comparisons are made to Dec. 1, 2011.

Solids (Brix) levels are lower and acid levels are higher for all fruit types resulting in lower ratios. Unfinished juice per box is higher for white and colored grapefruit and lower for all orange types. Solids per box are lower for all orange types but higher for both grapefruit types.

Indian River grapefruit has higher acid and Brix levels resulting in lower ratios when compared to other areas. Unfinished juice per box is lower for white grapefruit and higher for colored grapefruit.

Solids per box are higher for all orange and grapefruit types in the Indian River District when compared to the other areas.