By: Jim Turner, News Service of Florida
Florida’s hurricane-battered citrus growers, facing their lowest yield in eight decades, continue to see a drop in production with the season’s harvest nearly complete.
But with federal disaster relief from Hurricane Irma on the horizon, the industry tried to keep a positive spin on the situation after the release Thursday of a new forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“With everything Florida citrus growers have gone through this year, we consider today’s forecast to be relatively stable and not unexpected,” Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus, said in a prepared statement. “This is an industry choosing to remain optimistic about the future. And part of that optimism comes from the support we’ve received from policy makers, industry and consumers.”
The May forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed a 1 percent decrease from an April outlook in orange and grapefruit output…